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One ‘tainted’ SSP out, another in; Captain’s damage-control move baffles Congress leaders

Jakhar says, no drug-tainted police officer should be allowed to continue and if the new Moga SSP also has a chequered past, he must go.

punjab Updated: Jul 04, 2018 09:51 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Captain Amarinder Singh,Moga
After fireworks at Monday’s cabinet meeting over “no action” against drug-tainted cops the government bafflingly replaced one drug-tainted cop with another(HT File)

A day after the Captain Amarinder Singh government transferred “drug-tainted” Moga senior superintendent of police (SSP) Raj Jit Singh and posted Kamaljit Singh Dhillon in his place, who is also facing similar charges, the Punjab Congress criticised its own government for the misadventure.

After fireworks at Monday’s cabinet meeting between ministers and Punjab Police chief Suresh Arora over “no action” against drug-tainted cops, the government did some quick damage control. It ordered the transfer of Raj Jit Singh, who is facing allegations in a drug case involving dismissed inspector Inderjit Singh, and suspended Ferozepur DSP Daljit Singh Dhillon, who was accused by two women of pushing them into drugs.

But the damage control has left the party red-faced as new Moga SSP Dhillon too is facing charges of cancelling drug cases against three cops after allegedly accepting Rs 40 lakh as “bribe”.

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar, who was also present in the informal meeting with officers and ministers after the cabinet meet, too had taken on the police saying the government has to show it means business. But after Dhillon replaced Raj Jit, Jakhar did not mince words to criticise the government. “No drug-tainted police officer should be allowed to continue. If the new Moga SSP too has a chequered past, he needs to go,” Jakhar told HT. He had also sought time to meet the CM on Tuesday but a meeting could not take place.

Other ministers and party MLAs too said they are baffled by the move. “Was the CM not briefed about Dhillon’s antecedents? Who advised his appointment? It is the credibility of the government which is at stake,” a minister said, requesting anonymity.

Discontent has been brewing among ministers and Congress legislators against their own government with police officials, who enjoyed proximity to the previous Akali regime, still occupying top positions.

In the cabinet meeting, jails minister Sukhjinder Randhawa was the first to question continuance of Raj Jit as Moga SSP despite being under the scanner of special task force (STF) set up by Amarinder soon after taking over in March last year. Jakhar had once left CM office in a huff after he could not meet Amarinder to voice anger of party MLAs over plum posting for “blue-eyed” cops of Akalis.

While the police are patting their back for choking the drug supply lines, the party leaders blame “police-dealer” nexus for bringing the government a bad name.

The turf war between DGP Arora and STF chief Harpreet Sidhu too has spilled over to the government and party. The latter enjoys support of some ministers and Congress MLAs who want action on his report on the alleged role of Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia in the Jagdish Bhola drug case.

First Published: Jul 04, 2018 09:51 IST