Chandigarh, December 7, 2023: Former minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) general secretary Bikram Singh Majithia today demanded a judicial probe into the manner in which gangsters lodged in jail in Punjab were plotting and executing target killings, including the recent killing of Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena chief Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi in Jaipur.
In a statement here, the SAD leader said the very fact that gangster Sampat Nehra hatched the plot to murder Gogamedi in Bathinda jail and even arranged an AK-47 for the same spoke volumes about the failure of the jail department to prevent access to smartphones to gangsters. “Since chief minister Bhagwant Mann is also the home minister and the jails minister, he is answerable as to how jails have become secure havens for gangsters under his watch”.
Asserting that this was not the first time that such a high profile killing had been planned from jail, Mr Bikram Majithia said “the assassination of Sidhu Moosewala was also planned in Punjab jails”. He said it was clear that Punjab jails had become the hotspot for planning the executing killings besides extortions and kidnappings and the home and jails departments had failed to rein in the gangsters who had established a crime network in jails. “The government even failed to take action in the case of a news interview given by gangster Lawrence Bishnor from a State jail before the high court took notice of the same. The government has even failed to recover the money spent in providing VVIP facilities to gangster Mukhtiar Ansari in Ropar jail despite claims of the same”.
Urging the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court to take suo moto action vis a vis planning of Gogamedi’s killing in the Bathinda jail, Mr Majithia said “the manner in which gangsters are being provided every facility as per their wish under Mr Bhagwant Mann’s watch also needs to be probed threadbare”. He also cited how VIP facilities were being granted to gangsters even as the SAD delegation was denied permission to meet Bandi Singh Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana despite being accorded permission for the same from the ADGP, Jails.
Mr Majithia also demanded that the active collusion of former Punjab DGP S Chattophadhyaya with drug lords should be probed. He said a call recording of Chattopadhyaya with a drug lord was also in the public realm. He said Chattopadhyaya was also responsible for the gross security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab in the run up to the 2022 elections.
He also said the manner in which the former DGP had given protection to proclaimed offenders and police officers involved in heinous crimes and illegal detention of people and indulgence in false encounters should also be probed.