It is not just Congressmen who have filed petitions against Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders alleging political vendetta and misuse of the NDPS Act before a commission set up by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to probe false cases registered during the 10-year tenure of the previous SAD-BJP government. The panel, headed by Justice Mehtab Singh Gill (retd), has also received several complaints of “political vendetta” from Akalis against their own leaders.
Bhola, a suspended Punjab cop, is a former wrestler who was charged by Punjab Police as ‘kingpin’ of the multi-crore drug scandal.
“My friend Bittu Aulakh has no links with any drug smuggler and he has been falsely implicated to tarnish the image of our family and this was made the reason for denial of ticket to contest Lok Sabha elections in 2014 to my father (Rattan Singh Ajnala, former Khadoor Sahib MP from and three-time MLA),” reads the affidavit.
Justice Gill, when contacted, confirmed receiving the affidavit attached to a complaint sent by Aulakh from the Nabha jail through post. “The file number of the case is 1,213 but we have sent a report to the state home department that it is beyond our jurisdiction as the matter is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a central agency,” he said.
The affidavit claims that Aulakh was arrested by the Amritsar police in the morning of November 14, 2013, from his residence at Rani Ka Bagh in Amritsar.
“I called up the then Amritsar commissioner of police who said he had instructions from Chandigarh to bring my friend to Patiala. I then called up then Patiala SSP Hardayal Singh Mann who said Bittu had to be questioned regarding his relationship with Jagjit Singh Chahal. It was a surprise for me when I heard the news on TV channels that Bittu was arrested from Rajpura with 2 kg of Pseudoephedrine (a key ingredient in synthetic drugs),” it adds.
Chahal, an Amritsar-based businessman, is a co-accused in the Bhola case along with Aulakh and both are presently lodged in the Nabha jail.
Justice Gill says about 10% of 4,200 complaints received by the panel are “Akalis versus Akalis”.
“A majority are from Congressmen against Akalis. Over 20% are from the Aam Aadmi Party against the SAD. There are also some from Bahujan Samaj Party against SAD,” he said.
Majithia, when contacted, called the statement “reckless and amusing”. Questioning why the affidavit was filed by Bonny five years after Bittu’s arrest, he said, “The entire matter (Bhola case) has gone to the double-bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court. Many such affidavits have been filed before it. I was summond by the ED as a witness, not accused. The commission is politically-motivated and not above the HC. And you need to ask the police if they implicate people at my behest and former CM (Parkash Singh Badal) if tickets were given on my behest. Bonny was renominated from his seat in the 2017 elections. So, how can he claim vendetta,” Majithia said. Bonny did not respond to calls and messages from HT since Saturday.
22 Jan 2021
23 Jan 2021