SAD trains guns at Congress government in Punjab over FIR against Majithia, Channi hits back

By PTI

CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) hit out at the Congress government in Punjab on Wednesday over the registration of a case against its leader Bikram Singh Majithia, terming it “fabricated”.

Majithia (46) was booked under the relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act on Monday on the basis of a 2018 status report on a probe into a drug racket operating in the state.

The report was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2018 by the anti-drug Special Task Force (STF) chief, Harpreet Singh Sidhu.

Majithia is the brother-in-law of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and the brother of former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

He had earlier denied all the charges against him.

SAD spokesperson Parambans Singh Romana claimed that Sidhu had admitted that he was related to Majithia and was not on talking terms with the latter’s family for 15 years.

“Despite this, the fabricated FIR against Majithia relied on the report of Sidhu, which the latter himself admitted was an opinion and not a probe report.

“The officer has admitted that his report was based on the record of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). If that is so, the ED was competent to file a challan against Majithia if it had found anything incriminating against him. But it did not do so,” Romana said in a statement.

He also said the trial in the case that Sidhu was referring to — the Jagdish Bhola case — had ended in January, 2019.

“Bhola and one Jagjit Chahal were convicted and the third accused, Bittu Aulakh, was acquitted,” the SAD leader said.

He said despite this factual position, Sidhu’s report stated that Aulakh was instrumental in making the accused meet Majithia.

Romana also pointed out that the high court had appointed a committee to go through the STF report.

He said the report of the committee comprising the then additional chief secretary (home) and the director general of police was lying in a sealed cover in the high court, adding, “It should also be made public.”

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday said his government will not allow any drug trafficker to go scot-free and the law will take its own course in a case against Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia.

Majithia (46) was booked under the relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act on Monday on the basis of a 2018 status report on a probe into a drug racket operating in the state.

The report was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court by the anti-drug Special Task Force (STF) chief, Harpreet Singh Sidhu.

Majithia is the brother-in-law of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and the brother of former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

He had earlier denied all the charges against him.

Addressing a gathering here, Channi reiterated his government’s commitment to eradicate the menace of drugs from Punjab, while adding that there is no “political vendetta” as far as the case against Majithia is concerned.

The SAD has alleged that the case was filed due to “political vendetta”.

Channi also took a dig at Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal for withdrawing his statement against Majithia with a written apology.

In 2018, Kejriwal had tendered an apology for having levelled “unfounded” allegations of involvement in the drugs trade against Majithia, following which the latter had decided to withdraw a court case against the Delhi chief minister.

“See the kind of politics the AAP is indulging in. It apologised to a person who was facing accusations of pushing youngsters towards drugs,” the chief minister said.

He also asserted that his government will not let the culprits involved in heinous acts of sacrilege to run away from the clutches of law.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said the Congress government in the state is now gradually winning the trust of people when it comes to governance, which had touched the “lowest ebb due to misrule, coupled with gross inefficiency during the regime of (Parkash Singh) Badal as well as Amarinder Singh”.

Transport Minister Amarinder Singh Raja Warring also hit out at the Badals.

“The reign of terror unleashed by the Badals has been suppressed to a considerable extent and it would disappear in the times to come provided the Congress is given another chance to serve the people of Punjab,” he said.