Four days after the district police booked a senior Akali leader, an excise and taxation officer (ETO) and two scrap dealers in a case of abetment to suicide, none of the accused have been arrested.
Industrialist Rajesh Gupta, 30, had poisoned himself to death and also left behind a suicide note naming SAD leader and former Mandi Gobindgarh MC president Sukhwinder Bhambri; excise and taxation officer Vishwajeet Bhangu; and scrap dealers Sandeep Kumar and Surinder Kumar.
Now, with the police unable to make any progress, voices have been coming from various quarters demanding tangible action.
Fatehgarh Sahib MP Harinder Singh Khalsa has demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “The case demonstrates the blatant misuse of power by the ruling SAD leaders. Akali leaders are known to harass businessmen by asking for shares and money,” he alleged.
The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP’s) Punjab anti-corruption wing in-charge Jatinder Modgill has also met the bereaved family and is preparing a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court, demanding that the case be investigated by the CBI.
AAP Punjab’s Anti-Corruption Wing in-charge Jatinder Modgill met the bereaved family and is preparing writ petition in High Court for this case to be investigated by the CBI.
Bhavnagar Traders Association president Mohan Mangat and a close associate of the deceased businessman, alleged the police had been shielding the accused.
“Gupta (the deceased) campaigned for my wife, who contested the recent MC elections against SAD leader Bhambri and this is what had annoyed him. When Bhambri lost, he started harassing Gupta and directed compliant excise officials to raid his firms, leading to a loss of `50 lakh,” Mangat claimed.
“It is hard to understand why ETO Ishwarjeet Singh Bhangu blackmailed and harassed Rajesh Gupta, forcing him to consume poison on March 17 followed by death on March 18,” alleged an industrialist, requesting anonymity.
The case has had the top brass of the state excise department running for cover and not answering media queries.
State excise and taxation department commissioner Anurag Verma has refused to talk to media, with additional ETC Ramanpreet Kaur claiming that only the commissioner was authorised to speak on the matter.
Later in the day, Verma’s phone was swiched off.
Amloh deputy superintendent of police Manpreet Singh said the department had formed four teams to track the accused.