SHO who booked Cong candidate resigns citing pressure, withdraws
Hours after he registered an FIR for illegal sand mining against Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowalia, candidate of Punjab’s ruling party Congress for the May 28 assembly bypoll here, Mehatpur area police station house officer (SHO) Parminder Singh Bajwa tendered his resignation on Friday morning, citing “pressure”. But he came around by the evening.
The FIR against Ladi and three others, under section 21 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code, was registered at 4.26 am on Friday, less than 24 hours after Ladi was announced as the candidate despite facing allegations of illegal mining. Inspector Bajwa resigned and left his office at 9.45 am. In a letter to senior superintendent of police (SSP), rural, Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, he wrote, “Respected sir, I know you are under pressure of sitting government. Please accept my resignation or count me absent from today 4-5-2018 at 9.45 am.” He had been transferred to Mehatpur two days ago on the orders of the Election Commission.
This resignation was released by leader of opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) at a press conference too; he said it was given to him by Bajwa’s family members who told him he was “under stress and pressure”.
Later, on social media, inspector Bajwa took a U-turn. “I had put a message on the social media in the morning that I will be resigning. That is not true [...] I want to continue my job. Earlier message was written due to family stress,” he wrote with the title ‘To whom it may concern’. Officials in the district police, not willing to be named, said Bajwa was anguished after he was “pulled up by senior officials” for “not taking them into the loop before registering the FIR” against Ladi.
SSP Bhullar, however, said he got to know about the “resignation” from the media as the SHO did not file any “officially”. “He asked for three days’ leave due to high blood pressure, but I have okayed it for two days. He didn’t talk about any resignation,” he claimed.