Punjab: Former Congress MLA arrested for illegal mining, Warring cries vendetta politics

Former Congress MLA from Bhoa, Joginder Pal, was on Friday arrested in connection to an illegal mining case in Pathankot district, drawing a sharp reaction from Punjab Congress chief, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring.

According to details, the police had received a complaint from one Gurdial Singh Saini about illegal sand mining being carried out, post which they had conducted a raid near Mara Kalan village on June 8.

Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Arun Saini, in a written statement on Friday said that “acting on the reliable telephonic information, a police team was sent to the site of a crusher near Maira Kalan village on June 8, where some people were found carrying out illegal mining using a JCB.”

“The police teams managed to recover the JCB and the tractor-trolley from the spot. The driver of the JCB, identified as Sunil Kumar and the representative of the crusher, Prakash, however, managed to flee from the spot. The JCB was registered in the name of Krishna Washed Stone Crusher, Kidi Khurd village in Taragarh,” the police statement said.

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An FIR under section 21 (1) of the Mining and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act was later registered at Taragarh Police Station in Pathankot. According to FIR, Sunil Kumar told police initially that the mining was being carried out by Krishna Washed Stone Crusher, which is owned by Joginder Pal’s family.

Police said that the FIR initially mentioned the names of Sunil Kumar, Parkash and two others for indulging in illegal mining activities.
During investigations, teh SSP revealed, they found that former MLA Joginder Pal, had a 50% share in Krishna Washed Stone Crusher, post which a decision was taken to arrest him.

“The government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann reaffirmed its zero tolerance against corruption and illegal practices with the arrest of former Congress MLA from Bhoa Joginder Pal after he was found indulging in illegal mining,” a statement released by the Punjab government later said.

Arrest arbitrary, says Punjab Congress chief

Punjab Congress president, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, on Friday condemned “the arbitrary arrest” of former party MLA from Bhoa, Joginder Pal saying “it was a clear case of political vendetta”.

In a written statement, Warring said, “In a similar case, an FIR had been registered against an Aam Aadmi Party leader, but he has not been arrested. Moreover, Pal’s name was added as an afterthought just to arrest him”.

He also asked the police “not to succumb to the AAP pressure and falsely implicate people”.

“Please do your duty responsibly and ensure no innocent is harassed as you will be answerable as well”, he cautioned the police.

The PCC president told Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann that he “cannot camouflage political vendetta as war against corruption. Warring said “the AAP government in Punjab was frustrated over its failures and was staring at a devastating defeat in Sangrur parliamentary bypoll.”

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