Punjab: Calls to ED comedy of errors, say police

  • Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Jan 16, 2015 22:40 IST

A day after making calls to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials investigating the Jagdish Bhola drug racket to seek their property details, the CID (criminal investigation department) has said it was just a “comedy of errors”.

After Hindustan Times ran the report on Friday, the Punjab Police intelligence officials were under criticism for their “pressuring” the ED, the agency that had questioned revenue minister Bikram Majithia as well about drug links. In the afternoon, the police reached ED joint director Girish Bali in Jalandhar with explanation.

The police have claimed that its CID officers made the calls to nine people, including the three ED sleuths, under a “special investigation” to know the users of some mobile-phone numbers. Jagraon senior superintendent of police (SSP) Ravcharan Singh Brar led the operation.

The SSP said deputy inspector general (intelligence) RK Jaiswal was monitoring the inquiry. “The police called up to know to whom the nine numbers belonged. There is no question of attempting to harass anybody,” he added.

DIG Jaiswal said he had made the explanation in detail to the ED functionary. “Our men did call up their people but they were among the nine we contacted. We did not seek any detail apart from their identity. Among the others, two turned out to be Punjab Police personnel and one a lawyer,” said Jaiswal. Another intelligence official termed the episode a “comedy of errors”.

The central agency in Jalandhar declined to say if the explanation was accepted. Agency’s special director (north) Karnal Singh, who is monitoring the case, acknowledged that some officials from Punjab Police had called up on Friday but said: “They are yet to provide us with facts. Once they do that, we’ll see.” Asked if the police theory had convinced the ED, he said: “Since we are in the dialogue process, I can make no comments.”

Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was in Jalandhar on Friday and he ducked the question by saying the news report was “not correct”.

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