ED grills Punjab minister Majithia
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday questioned Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia for over four hours in connection with its probe into the alleged money laundering in the Rs 6,000 crore international drug racket case. Majithia, the younger brother of union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and brother-in-law of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, reached the agency’s office in Jalandhar at 11 am, where a criminal case has been registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
“Majithia’s statement has been recorded under the PMLA and he was questioned for over four hours by a three-member team led by ED’s Special Director (North) Karnal Singh who had come from Delhi. The minister has assured full cooperation in the probe,” said ED sources. Emerging out of the ED office, Majithia told reporters that the “truth will and must come out. I will proactively cooperate with (the) ED in the investigation. I could have asked for another date to appear before it but I have come on the first opportunity.” The minister also submitted to the investigators records of some of his financial statements and transactions, as had been sought by the agency.
The central probe agency has been investigating an international drug racket, which was unearthed with the arrest of an NRI, Anoop Singh Kahlon, by the Fatehgarh Sahib Police in March 2013. Further probe into the case had led to the arrest of alleged kingpin Jagdish Bhola, a dismissed DSP of Punjab Police, in November last year. Based on Bhola’s revelations, Amritsar businessmen Bittu Aulakh and Jagjit Singh Chahal, who owns pharma companies, were also arrested. During interrogation of the arrested accused, Majithia’s name cropped up bringing him under the scanner of the ED.
Earlier on Friday, a group of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad activists held a protest near the ED office here and demanded Majithia’s resignation. They also burnt an effigy of the Punjab minister. Congress activists too held protests at several places in the state demanding Majithia’s resignation.