In what points towards the possibility of ‘diversion’ of urea by Akali leaders for distribution in their constituencies, some leaders have been found to have taken trucks laden with urea in their custody and distributed it for ‘political clout’.
In the past one month, at least two instances of trucks laden with urea meant for cooperative societies have gone ‘missing’ on the way after these were despatched, only to be later found that urea had been distributed by local Akali leaders.
In one case, a police complaint was lodged by the company, which despatched the urea, only to withdraw it after the chief minister marked an inquiry into the urea trucks having gone missing.
On January 23, 22 trucks, laden with 9,000 bags of urea, went missing from Gidderbaha. The urea was meant for distribution among village cooperative societies in Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozepur and Muktsar.
The company, which despatched the urea, Jyoti Enterprises, lodged a complaint with the police. HT reported the matter following which CM Parkash Singh Badal marked a probe into it.
It has now surfaced that Gidderbaha Truck Union president and Akali leader Lakhi Kingra ‘distributed’ the urea in these trucks on his own. He claimed that he gave the urea to the cooperative societies in his area. However, despite the CM’s intervention, no action has been taken by the police. “I have not got any report from Muktsar police so far.
I talked to Muktsar SSP yesterday on the issue. I will take action after the police file a report,” said Muktsar DC Jaskaran Singh.
On January 12, a truck with 500 urea bags was despatched from Bathinda for cooperative society of Raike Kalan. It was reportedly diverted by Akali leader and former sarpanch Sukhpal Singh from the village to his home.
Around 250 bags were unloaded at Sukhpal’s house. The truck with rest of the 250 bags moved to the cooperative society of the village. When villagers came to know about the development they seized the truck.
This forced the police and the administration to intervene and Sukhpal Singh was finally asked to return urea bags.
Kulwant Rai, a farmer union leader from Raike Kalan, said, “No action has been taken against anyone. If there was nothing wrong, then why Akali leader was asked to return the bags. It is on record that all those 500 bags were for the cooperative society of our village. Who allowed Sukhpal to unload bags at his home?” Amritpal, inspector at the corporative society of Raike Kalan, said, “I have the complaint from villagers. No action has been taken so far. I was too much busy with my official work.”
On February 1, the Patiala police recovered a truck laden with urea bags from Samana-Bhiwanigarh road. The police have started investigation and called agriculture officials on the spot to verify around 400 confiscated bags of urea.
Farmer unions have been alleging that Akali leaders are exploiting the urea shortage.
“A bag of urea which costs around Rs 700 is sold at Rs 900. Influential customers are supplied urea while ordinary farmers are begging for it,” said a farmer in Bathinda.
Mystery or a political game?
On January 23, 22 trucks with 9,000 bags of urea went missing from Gidderbaha. It was for village cooperative societies in Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozepur and Muktsar. After firm which despatched the urea lodged a complaint, CM marked a probe. It has now surfaced that Gidderbaha Truck Union president and Akali leader Lakhi Kingra ‘distributed’ the urea in these trucks on his own.
In a similar incident, on January 12, a truck, laden with 500 urea bags, was despatched from Bathinda for the cooperative society of Raike Kalan village. However, the tuck was reportedly diverted by Akali leader and former sarpanch Sukhpal Singh from the village to his home. Around 250 bags were unloaded at Sukhpal’s house. The truck with rest of the 250 bags moved to the cooperative society of the village.