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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
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Non-bailable warrants against LoP Sukhpal Khaira in drugs case

Fazilka/Chandigarh, November 1: A local court has issued non-bailable warrants against five persons, including Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira, in a case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The others are Khaira’s personal security officer (PSO) Joga Singh; personal assistant Manish; UK-based Charanjit Kaur, a resident of Bath village (Jalandhar); and Major Singh Bajwa of Bajwa Kalan village (Jalandhar). All have been summoned to be present in the court on November 30 and stand trial under Sections 29, 30, 27-A and 23 of the Act.

The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Sandeep Singh Jossan directed the prosecution to file a supplementary challan against Khaira and the others.

The court had yesterday awarded sentence to nine convicts in the trans-border heroin smuggling case that surfaced here in 2015.

Khaira’s name cropped up due to his alleged association with Gurdev Singh, who has been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment. Gurdev is a former chairman of the Market Committee, Dhilwan.

Meanwhile, rival parties demanded Khaira’s resignation over his alleged links with convicted drug smugglers.

Alleging political vendetta, Khaira refused to resign, arguing that other leaders had held on to their posts despite facing court cases. He asked Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Akali leaders Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia to quit party/government posts before seeking his resignation.

The state or the national unit of the Aam Aadmi Party has not issued any official statement on the issue, but party sources said they backed Khaira.

HS Phoolka, former Leader of the Opposition, said Khaira had been framed, “It is astonishing that he has been summoned without any FIR against him or his indictment in any inquiry. This is sheer political vendetta,” he said. Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh today, Khaira said the Congress and the Akalis had joined hands to silence him as he had been exposing leaders of these parties.

Khaira stated that in case Capt Amarinder and Sukhbir offered to give up their positions to uphold ethics and morality in politics, he would follow suit in “five minutes” and step down from the post of Leader of the Opposition.

Meanwhile, the SAD not only sought Khaira’s resignation, but also asked AAP convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to walk the talk by sacking the MLA. “AAP, and Kejriwal in particular, had taken the moral high ground on the drug issue before the Punjab Assembly elections. Now that the party’s own leader has been summoned in a drug case, let us see if Kejriwal is able to sack a tainted leader,” party general secretary Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal said.

State Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said there was no political vendetta behind the summoning of Khaira. “He has been summoned by a court, not the police or a government official,” the Gurdaspur MP said.

Gurdev Singh, a former chairman of Market Committee, Dhilwan, was among nine persons arrested by the Jalalabad police in 2015, along with 2-kg heroin, 24 gold biscuits, one country-made .315-bore pistol, two Pakistani SIM cards and a Tata Safari. All were sentenced on Tuesday. Khaira’s name cropped up due to his alleged association with Gurdev Singh.

“The Congress and the Akali Dal have joined hands to silence me as I have been exposing leaders of these parties. In case Amarinder and Sukhbir offer to give up their positions to uphold ethics in politics, I will follow suit in five minutes,” Khaira said.

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