PANCHKULAPolice have asked former Congress MLA from Punjab Harminder Singh Jassi to appear before the special investigation team (SIT) probing the Panchkula arson in which 36 people were killed following conviction of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on August 25. “Assistant commissioner of police heading the SIT called Jassi to join investigation, but the Congress leader sought some time to appear. We are expecting him to join the investigation January 3, as Jassi told us over phone,” said Panchkula police commissioner AS Chawla.Jassi was elected MLA from Talwandi Sabo in 1992 and 1997 and from Bathinda in 2007. But he could not win the assembly election from Maur in 2017.Three-time MLA Jassi is relative of convicted dera chief whose son is married to Jassi’s daughter. While Chawla is not revealing the questions that the SIT will ask Jassi, sources said he is suspected for harbouring Ram Rahim’s adopted daughter Honeypreet during her 38-day hideout before her arrest on October 3.The police chargesheet last month framed her as the main accused of the Panchkula arson and revealed that she mostly stayed at Gursharn Modia, dera chief’s ancestral village in Rajasthan, besides Mukstar and Bathinda. Sources revealed that Jassi’s cellphone location was traced to Gursharn Modia, when Honeypreet was in hiding there. While Jassi could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, he in his previous media statement distanced himself from Honeypreet, claiming he had no role in hiding her. Meanwhile, the arguments for framing of charges against Honeypreet and others will start from January 11 in the Panchkula court.