Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Kamal Sharma has made the local chiefs of his party and its youth wing, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), submit their resignations over charges of corruption and trying to help drug smugglers.
“The Ferozepur police claim to have evidence that our local party chief Jugraj Singh Katora and local BJYM head Jimmy Sandhu were in touch with an agent who was trying to get a criminal out of police custody,” Kamal Sharma said here on Monday, adding: “So we asked them to resign from the posts and join the investigation. If they get a clean chit from the police, we will reinstate them with honour.”
Sharma said the BJP couldn’t afford to have tainted members, and would expel anyone involved in crime. “I have met Ferozepur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Hardiyal Singh Mann and told him to do a free and fair investigation,” he stated.
Two months ago, the local police had arrested one Amritpal Singh along with his wife, Jagdish Kaur, and father, Jasbir Singh, with two weapons and 100 grams of heroin, besides fake currency. Later, they had found Jasbir innocent but registered a case against his son and daughter-in-law, who belong to a village in the Tarn Taran district in the local police jurisdiction. Local resident Lakhwinder Singh had then approached Amritpal with offer to settle the case for money. The police got wind of it and tapped Lakhwinder’s mobile phone to find out that he was in contact with BJYM’s Jimmy and BJP’s Katora and depending on them to get Amritpal out.
SSP Mann confirmed that he had evidence against Katora and Jimmy, who are said to be Sharma’s favourite in Ferozepur. Their political career began with the rise of Sharma in Punjab when he was appointed state BJP general secretary unit. As Sharma became state party chief, their clout also increased. While Katora was appointed local BJP chief, Jimmy first became the party’s youth wing chief in Ferozepur.
Later on Katora became Ferozepur market committee chairman, while Jimmy’s mother won the MC election narrowly on the BJP ticket. Repeated attempts to contact Katora and Jimmy were futile.
Cong MLA wants them arrested
Ferozepur’s Congress legislator Parminder Singh Pinki on Monday demanded the arrest of the local BJP leaders and some police officials who are accused of helping drug smugglers. “Local resident Lakhwinder Singh, who is in the police custody for the past five days on drug-smuggling charges, have named these leader and cops,” said Pinki, adding: “A police-politician nexus was at work in Ferozepur to promote anti-national activities.”
In a press release issued here, he demanded investigation by an independent agency, recalling that he had raised the issue in the assembly but “only the tip of the iceberg has been exposed”.