Shahkot bypoll: Punjab CM’s team shares video, Aadhaar of woman seen with SHO
Amarinder said the SHO was transferred out of Kapurthala area by MLA Rana Gurjit Singh for indulging in “immoral” activities; in saying so, he stirred a Hornet’s Nest by exposing that his MLAs call the shots in police postings.Updated: May 08, 2018 09:29 IST
Not all is fair in the bypoll war of Punjab. In apparent nervousness to take on a defiant station house officer (SHO), inspector Parminder Singh Bajwa, who has registered an FIR against the Congress nominee, Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowalia, hours after he was nominated by the party for the Shahkot seat, Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government and the party appear to have erred on the side of caution.
The CM said at a press conference that the SHO was transferred out of Kapurthala area by MLA Rana Gurjit Singh for indulging in “immoral” activities. In saying so, the CM stirred a Hornet’s Nest by exposing that his MLAs call the shots in police postings, even as he has steadfastly tried to portray otherwise. Also, that it is within any government’s right to “moral police” its force. Rana himself had to quit the cabinet over allegations of irregularities in sand mining auctions in January.
Then came the unthinkable. After the conference, the CM’s team handed out CDs showing CCTV footage of the SHO with a woman at a five-star hotel along with photocopies of the woman’s Aadhaar card details, including her photo, father’s name and address. There were also details of the foods and drinks consumed by the SHO at the hotel from April 29 to May 5; of the room he had booked on May 3, the night before he registered the FIR; how much he paid by cash and credit card; and the exact time the woman entered the room and the time the SHO entered it.
In the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll held in October last year, it was SAD leader Sucha Singh Langah who was “stung”.
And it is on grounds of “immorality” that the CM wants to unravel the mystery of the SHO’s posting. “The state police chief will investigate how his (Bajwa’s) name was put on the panel of three names sent to the Election Commission (for the SHO’s posting in Mehatpur area in Shahkot segment). We will also request the EC to probe the sequence of events that led to the FIR. I cannot do so as Shahkot is under EC now,” the CM said.
Opposition parties are questioning if monitoring personal lives is now government’s business. “What the SHO did in his personal life is not our job. The CM too has female friends. Also, he is himself admitting that his confidant Rana Gurjit got the SHO transferred. It only exposes how politicised police transfers are in Punjab,” leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said.
The Shiromani Akali Dal too questioned why the footage of the SHO with his purported friend is being raked up to counter allegations of illegal mining against the Congress candidate. “It is not expected at the level of the CM,” former minister Daljit Singh Cheema said.
It is not the first time that dirty games have gone viral in Punjab before elections. During last year’s polls, a sex tape of SAD MP Sher Singh Ghubaya had surfaced just when his son, Davinder Singh Ghubaya, was contesting on Congress ticket from Fazilka. The MP had pointed fingers at his own party while his son went on to win the seat.
In the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll held in October last year, it was SAD leader Sucha Singh Langah who was “stung”. The woman complainant in that case of alleged rape has now backtracked saying she is not the one in the video and that she was pressurised by police to level the charges. Ironically, it all happens when a “code of conduct” is in place.