The Punjab Police have conveniently missed the name of liquor baron Shiv Lal Doda, who is behind the bars on murder charges, in the FIR registered with regard to a ‘durbar’ he held with a group of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers inside the Fazilka sub-jail last week.
The case was registered against 25 people who had met Doda in the room of a jail official on Wednesday and the illegality came to the fore during a raid conducted on the orders of Punjab chief electoral officer (CEO) VK Singh. The raid at the jail was conducted by Fazilka deputy commissioner Isha Kalia.
The incident, and now the absence of Doda's name in the FIR, has irked the mother of Bhim Sain Tank, 27, who had been brutally killed at Doda's farmhouse last year. The Congress too has demanded adding Doda’s name as the main accused in this connection.
The raiding team on January 5 had found various violations, including seven private vehicles and 24 people inside the jail. “The people were inside the jail without even an entry in the visitors’ register, which is done between 9am and 2pm,” said the complaint from the deputy commissioner (DC) to the senior superintendent of police (SSP). A sum of ₹3.48 lakh was also recovered from the jail.
The outsiders included Doda’s aide and SAD circle president Ashok Ahuja . The accused have been booked under Sections 117 (abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. Among the accused is also the Jashandeep Singh, assistant jail superintendent, Fazilka sub jail. All the accused, however, secured bail a day after the incident.
Tank’s mother Kaushalya Devi, in a written complaint to Fazilka deputy commissioner, has demanded to include Shiv Lal Doda and his nephew Amit Doda’s name in the FIR.
“It’s a mockery of the law that the name of the kingpin of the entire controversy Shiv Lal Doda is missing. He should be immediately booked,” stated Abohar MLA and Congress leader Sunil Jakhar. He also demanded getting the call details of Fazilka DC Isha Kalia and Jashandeep Singh checked to know the truth. “It’s an open secret that Doda enjoyed full patronage of the Akali rule even inside the jail. He enjoys all the luxuries and runs his liquor business from jail,” said Jakhar.
When contacted, Isha Kalia denied the charge of favouring Doda in any manner. “As per the statement of Jashandeep Singh that outsiders had come to meet Shiv Lal Doda, we have asked the police to seek legal opinion into the matter and initiate action as per law. No one will go scot free,” she said.