Akali leaders among 25 booked for holding meeting inside Punjab jail

Chandigarh, Jan 5 (IANS) Leaders owing allegiance to Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and a jail official have been booked by the Punjab Police following a raid conducted on the Fazilka sub-jail complex in southwest Punjab, police officials said here on Thursday.

These leaders and their supporters were holding a meeting with influential Akali Dal leader and liquor baron, Shiv Lal Doda, who is lodged there.

Fazilka Assistant Jail Superintendent Jashandeep Singh and 24 others were booked by police following the raid. Plice impounded a luxury car of those booked in the case and recovered nearly Rs 3.5 lakh in cash from it.

The raid was conducted on Wednesday evening at the jail premises by Fazilka Deputy Commissioner Isha Kalia, along with district police chief Narinder Bhargava, following directions from the Election Commission, acting on a complaint from a Congress leader regarding illegal meeting taking place inside the jail.

District officials sent a detailed report to the EC regarding the incident.

Doda, who is a former area in-charge of the Akali Dal and is considered close to Akali Dal president and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, is lodged in the jail for his involvement in the brutal murder of Dalit youth Bhim Tank on December 11, 2015.

Tank was brutally attacked in a liquor gang war in Fazilka district. His limbs were chopped off and he died due to the injuries. Doda’s men were involved in the attack which place inside his farmhouse.

At the meeting, plans of Doda contesting Punjab’s forthcoming assembly polls were being discussed when the raid took place, police officials said.

Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh on Thursday demanded immediate dismissal of the Parkash Singh Badal government.

“It has been completely exposed by the Fazilka jail incident, where a known henchman of Punjab Home Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, was caught holding a kangaroo court on Wednesday along with two dozen other Akali-linked criminals,” Amarinder said, adding that Punjab was a fit case for imposition of President’s Rule as there was a complete breakdown of the law and order.

Punjab Aam Aadmi Party convener Gurpreet Singh Waraich said that the Fazilka jail incident was an “eye-opener of SAD patronage for culprits”. He demanded immediate action into the incident.

–IANS

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