It has been more than a month but a report on alleged contraband siezed from the house of Dayal Singh Kolianwali, a member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and a close aide of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, is still awaited.
The raid by income tax sleuths had been conducted on January 25, just five days before the Punjab assembly elections. The inspectors were in the house for more than seven hours, and they handed over the material seized to the local police.
In their initial statements to the media, the election commission as well as the income tax department had suggested that the material seized could be banned drugs. Later, the Muktsar police avoided registering any case against Kolianwali and, in a big relief to the Shiromani Akali Dal leadership at that time, sent the samples to Chandigarh for analysis.
Kolianwali is in the Lambi constituency, where the CM was a candidate against his brother, Gurdas Singh Badal, and cousin, Maheshinder Singh Badal. Any case against Kolianwali could have damaged the CM’s prospects.
“The police await the analysis report from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL),” Harash Kumar Bansal, senior superintendent of police, Muktsar, has confirmed. Asked if the report had been delayed, he said the CFSL had own procedures but a reminder had gone out five days ago.
Rumours in political circles suggest that the report will emerge only after the election results. “The police would like to play safe,” said a police officer (name withheld on request). “The department will let the next government form and then release the report.”