Given 'free hand' by Phillaur, son 'misused' his influence | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Given 'free hand' by Phillaur, son 'misused' his influence

punjab Updated: May 23, 2014 23:02 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times

Damanvir Singh, son of former jails minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur and an accused in the drug racket, has often been in news in Kartarpur assembly segment represented by his father, over allegations of misusing his father's influence.

Damanvir allegedly misused the police to settle scores in the assembly segment as he was apparently given a free hand by his father with an eye on his political future.

During campaigning for the recent Lok Sabha polls, pictures of Damanvir appeared on hoardings along with those of his father, including at the rally addressed by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal at Kartarpur on April 1.

Following Phillaur's health issues, Damanvir's role in the assembly segment increased. Sources in the jails department said Damanvir even used to give directions to jail officials on his father's behalf.

In Kartarpur, as Damanvir became prominent, the "SAD atrocities" increased that brought a bad name to the party resulting in the SAD candidate trailing from the assembly segment by more than 12,000 votes.

In one such case, on August 15, 2013, an FIR was registered against Amritpal Singh, a Congress worker at Singhpur village falling under the assembly segment, under Sections 451 (trespass in order to commit crime), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC for allegedly looting a liquor vend in the village in broad daylight.

Amritpal's cousin Harminder Singh had contested the election of sarpanch on a Congress ticket, so he faced the ire of the ruling SAD. Amritpal, a teetotaller, was coming from the fields to his house when he was attacked by the ruling party men, beaten up mercilessly and was later booked. At present, he is on bail.

In another such case against Congress sarpanch Manjeet Singh of Buttran village, an FIR was registered against him under Section 452 (trespass in order to commit crime) after a village skirmish between two groups. The sarpanch claims that he was not even present at the spot at the time of the incident.

Punjab Youth Congress president Vikram Chaudhary said, "The police were the biggest tool Damanvir used in Kartarpur. There are many such cases in which the police refused to entertain complaints by Congressmen. We demand that the government cancel all such cases against our party workers."

The Congress also accused Damanvir of campaigning in Kartarpur in the recent elections using the official security guards of his father. A complaint in this regard was also registered with the Election Commission.

Damanvir was not available for comment. His personal assistant said he was away to Chandigarh.

ED likely to issue fresh summons
The ED is likely to issue fresh summons to Damanvir in the next two to three days to appear before it for questioning. It will be the fourth such notice to Damanvir.

Sources in the ED confirmed this saying it was likely that following questioning the ED might register an FIR in the case.

The ED might soon join hands with the Punjab Police and income tax officials to probe the case, a senior ED official said in Jalandhar on Friday.

Meanwhile, following the recent HT reports against the Phillaurs, a group of supporters of the former minister on Friday threatened to stage a dharna outside the HT office here.

The SAD leaders from Bhogpur and areas falling under Kartarpur, led by local Youth Akali Dal leader Tejinder Nijjar, criticised the paper for repeatedly carrying reports against Phillaur. They claimed the paper was deliberately tarnishing the image of the Kartarpur MLA and his son.