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ED officer probing Punjab drug racket case shifted

Sources in ED said that Niranjan received his transfer order on Friday evening. It is learnt that in the last couple of days local ED officials had reported to their bosses in Delhi that ED officials were being bugged and Punjab CID sleuths were also trying to know the property details of the local ED officials.

Interestingly, some phone numbers from which the calls were made by the CID sleuths to the ED officials were also brought into the public domain by the latter, which created embarrassing situation for the Punjab government and its intelligence wing.

Though he had earlier summoned in the last one year former jail minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur’s son Damanvir Singh, SAD chief Parliamentary Secretary Avinash Chander and Congress MP Santokh Chaudhary but things reached to a flash point after Majithia was summoned. It may be recalled here that drug lord Jagdish Bhola, who was arrested by Punjab Police in 2013 in Rs 6,000 crore synthetic drug racket case, during his questioning by ED in the first week of January last year had revealed Majithia’s name which led to a political storm in the city and the ruling alliance of SAD-BJP had been facing piquant situation over the issue.

Majithia was questioned by Niranjan, Joint Director Girish Bali and Special Director Karnal Singh who had come here from Delhi. His summoning had given a handle to Congress which started demanding his resignation. Sources in ED said that official’s transfer at this juncture can further delay the investigation in the case. It may be mentioned here that even as Sarwan Singh Phillaur’s son Damanvir was summoned within a few week of Bhola’s statement naming him and Majithia but ED officials took around 11 months to summon Majithia on the basis of the same statement. Congress had earlier also accused ED officials of trying to save him.

Attacking Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP, Punjab Congress chief Pratap Singh Bajwa wrote to Modi slamming the “conspiracy to hush up this narco-terrorism racket by the ruling powers” and sought transfer of the case outside the state as well as immediate revocation of the order shunting out IO Niranjan Singh.

Bajwa linked the transfer decision to the questioning of Majithia in the multi-crore drugs scam probe, noting that he is the brother-in-law of the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

However, Majithia has maintained that all allegations related to the drug racket are “baseless and without evidence”.

“It is abundantly clear that the reasons for transferring him from Punjab are purely on account of political expediency and convenience.... It is most unfortunate that the rule of law is being sacrificed at the altar of political expediency especially in view of the fact that your party requires the support of the SAD-Badal for the forthcoming Delhi elections,” Bajwa said.
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