After the arrest of Maninder Singh Bittu Aulakh in the drug racket, Patiala Police have arrested another Youth Akali Dal vice-president, Jajjpal Singh Nijamniwala, on a charge of keeping illegal pistol and four live cartridges.
Nijamniwala was arrested along with his uncle, Sukhwinder Singh, after police searched their car on the Samana-Cheeka road near here. The former close aide of panachyat and rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra was elected sarpanch of Nijamniwala village in the minister's Samana constituency after falling out with him over running for this post and Samana truck union president.
His arrest has come a few days after he put up own picture in the posters for the Jagraon rally of Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and kept Rakhra and other local leaders out of the frame. Naturally, his supporters now accuse the minister and his protégés of plotting it, and on Saturday they protested for an hour at Passiana Chowk on the Sangrur road here.
They accused the police of being vindictive against Jajjpal Singh and his uncle, and threatened to block traffic on the road for indefinite period if the case wasn't withdrawn in 48 hours. Senior superintendent of police Hardial Singh Mann denied any political pressure behind registering the case. "Police can't spare a criminal, whosoever he be," he said.