In a clear attempt to browbeat the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials who are investigating the multi-crore Bhola drug racket case in which the agency has recently investigated revenue minister Bikram Majithia, the Punjab Police in “retaliation” has asked the ED officials involved in the case to furnish details of properties and assets relating to them and their families.
In the last two days, CID officials have sought details from four central agency sleuths who are doing the ground-level investigations in the case. One of them who, sources said, originally belonged to a Patiala village was the first to receive this call.
Senior ED officials confirmed that their men assisting them in the Bhola drug haul case had received a few phone calls and the callers claimed themselves to be from the CID.
“Initially, we thought there may be something personal against any particular officer but then it emerged that the calls were made to four officers who are handling the case,” sources said.
Four numbers from which calls have been received by ED sleuths are 98765-00162, 94174-75434, 98766-64207 and 95929-02829. When HT made a call on 98765-00162 that is saved in True Caller mobile application as ‘CID Surinder’, someone confirmed that the number belonged to Surinder Singh, inspector in CID posted in Chandigarh. He said he originally belonged to Jalandhar. The calls were made in the last two to three days, ED sources claimed.
When a call was made on 94174 75434 that is saved as CID Gurdeep in True Caller, a woman picked up the phone and claimed that she was speaking from Gurdaspur. On 98766-64207, that is saved in the name of Kuldeep Dhaliwal, it was confirmed that Dhaliwal is posted as ETO, sales tax, enforcement directorate, in Mohali.
The number 95929-02829 saved in True Caller in the name of Naresh Dogra, a Punjab Police cop who is posted at Hoshiarpur. When contacted, he said he used to operate the number some three years back. When a call was made on this number, a man claimed that he lived at Maili village near Mahilpur of Hoshiarpur.
Meanwhile, after state CID’s move to conduct inquiries of ED sleuths, the central agency high-ups from Jalandhar has sent the detailed reports to North Zone headquarters in Chandigarh apprising the North Zone Director office about this attempt of “suppression” and “intimidatation” by Punjab police in a bid to affect the investigations in this case.
Sources said ED headquarters in Delhi has also been appraised about this development and the central agency officials have communicated their concern with the Punjab police.
“It’s a clear attempt to put pressure on us, don’t know why? Perhaps certain people don’t know that the central government officials submit their property details with the Centre. Top level officials are used to of all this but it’s an attempt to press our team members,” said a senior ED official while ridiculing such attempts.
ADGP (intelligence) Hardeep Singh, when contacted, denied conducting any such investigation against the ED men. “Off-hand, I cannot comment on the issue,” he said.