Rs 6.5 crore loot by Punjab cops: Akali Dal asks EC to order probe
The opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday urged Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora to order a probe into the alleged loot of Rs 6.5 crore by two Punjab Police Assistant sub Inspectors - Joginder Singh and Rajpreet Singh - and a police informer, Surinder Singh.
In a major embarrassment for Punjab Police, two Assistant sub-inspectors were booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act on Saturday (April 13) after they failed to report for an interrogation by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
The SIT was formed to probe the alleged loot by cops on March 30. The accused cops had seized Rs 16 crore from three cars but showed the seizure of only Rs 9.66 crore in the records.
The money belonged to Father Antony Madassery who has been running books and stationery business. The SIT was formed on the basis of a complaint made by Antony Madassery. The priest had alleged that Rs 6.5 crore had been misappropriated from the total amount that was seized.
Akali Dal has expressed the apprehension that the ruling Congress would misuse the "missing" money in the Lok Sabha elections as there is involvement of senior police officers in this case.
"We have reason to believe that this money could find its way into the hands of the Congress party and its leaders and be used to influence voters in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Only an independent probe can prevent this," Daljit Singh Cheema, senior vice president of Shiromani Akali Dal, said.
Daljit Singh Cheema also said the state police had been exposed by the SIT in this case. He said that the police failed to arrest the accused cops which hints the involvement of senior police officers in the loot case.
"It seems very doubtful that two low-level police officials could commit this crime without any political patronage. The SIT is constrained because it reports to the Congress government and cannot explore this angle of inquiry. This is why an independent probe supervised by the Election Commission is necessary to get to the bottom of this case," Cheema added.
The Akali leader also demanded registration of appropriate cases against all the police officers of the Khanna police who tried to give a clean chit to the police force after Father Anthony Madasserry claimed that the authorities had only shown a recovery of Rs 9.66 crore.
He also demanded an investigation into why the Khanna police claimed that it seized the money from Doraha and violated its jurisdiction when it actually seized the money from the priest's house in Jalandhar.