Stressing the need for a custody interrogation of former minister and deputy Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Bikram Singh Majithia, the Punjab Police Special Investigative Team (SIT) told the High Court that government mechanisms were used for the benefit of the drug cartels during Akali’s rule in the state.
The response from the SIT came following the request for early release on bail filed by the head of the SAD. The high court is due to take up the case on Monday.
The SIT said compromising elements had been filed against Majithia, which it had placed under seal. By filing the evidence under seal, she felt that if made public, his supporters would intimidate and threaten witnesses to testify against him.
“Case brought on the basis of prima facie evidence”
The SIT also denied the allegations of political vendetta and said the FIR was registered on the basis of prima facie evidence.
He said that Majithia was a key minister in Akali’s government and that it was during their tenure that the drug trafficking offenses took place and that “government mechanisms were used for the benefit of the drug cartels operating in Punjab. and outside”.
Without his interrogation in custody, the case cannot be elucidated and the “backward and forward links” cannot be established, the SIT said.
We still don’t know where the minister is
On December 20, 2021, Majithia was arrested by the Punjabi police in a drug case. We still don’t know where Majithia is. On December 24, a court in Mohali dismissed his plea, observing that although his allegations were of political vendetta, he himself was a powerful person in state politics until 2017, when SAD was in power. Against this order, he appealed to the High Court, alleging a “political vendetta”.
“The petitioner is a sitting MP and a very influential politician and as such can use his influence and muscular power to threaten, influence and intimidate witnesses to testify against him and can also destroy evidence that investigative agencies are collecting, “SIT said, adding that to date it has not cooperated and has gone into hiding despite repeated attempts by SIT to involve him in the investigation .
The SIT, without naming anyone, also claimed that a close relative of the applicant had repeatedly threatened police officials at public gatherings and told them to be prepared to face dire consequences for him. the recording of this criminal case. He also filed newspaper clippings and audio clippings of statements made by former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, who is Majithia’s brother-in-law.
The response from SIT indicated that the initial FIR was registered on May 15, 2013 at Banur Police Station against Satinder Dhama, Baljinder Singh and others. Later, Jagdish Bhola, Jagjit Singh Chahal and Manjinder Singh Aulakh were named accused.
Initially, Bhola made a statement about Majithia’s involvement to the Directorate of Enforcement. Subsequently, Jagjit Singh Chahal, another accused, said he met Satpreet Singh Satta, who lived in Majithia’s house with Parminder Singh Pindi and Maninder Singh Ladi with Bittu Aulakh and that these people were involved in the drug case. in “connivance” with Majithia.
Their statements revealed that they were in charge of the drug trade and were “in constant contact with Majithia”.
Police say statements from Harpreet Singh Sidhu, the head of the STF, who submitted the 2018 report to the High Court, which became the basis of the FIR, were recorded, along with those of the former deputy director. , ED, Niranjan Singh, who summoned Majithia in 2014, and Bhola.