Four days after former Samana MLA Jagtar Singh Rajla switched over from the Congress to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Punjab Police booked his wife, Lakhwinder Kaur, in a paddy embezzlement case.
Police registered a case against Lakhwinder, owner of Rajla Foods, Samana, under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Rajla Foods is a private company that operates a rice mill.
The FIR (first-information report) was lodged on the statement of the Marked district manager, who alleged that the accused embezzled paddy worth about Rs 1.3 crore that the government agency had given to her for milling for the 2013-14 paddy season. As per the FIR, during verification, Markfed officials found that Lakhwinder had sold off the paddy and filled the bags with husk in a bid to befool the officials.
Sources said the FIR had been registered after an inquiry conducted by a deputy superintendent of police (DSP)-rank officer and taking legal opinion from the district attorney (legal).
Rajla was elected MLA on the Shiromani Akali Dal ticket (SAD) in 2002.
After the death of his mentor, Akali stalwart Gurcharan Singh Tohra, he shifted loyalties to Captain Amarinder Singh and joined the Congress in 2009. He crossed over to the AAP on Sunday.
When contacted, Rajla accused the ruling SAD of targeting him as he had joined the AAP. He said the rice mill was being operated by a commission agent, Satpal, who had committed embezzlement. As there was no written agreement between Rajla Foods and Satpal, his wife was being blamed for the missing paddy, he added.
“My wife has already declared that Markfed can take over her rice mill, which has a market value of Rs 2 crore. However, instead of recovering the money by auctioning the mill, the government is resorting to vendetta,” Rajla alleged. He said his family was open to any inquiry and would announce that they were ready to give the mill along with the prime land to the government.
Lakhwinder could not be contacted for comment.