Thursday, June 19, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Punjab cops interrogate Badal
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 18
In less than 24 hours of the physical search of his farmhouse at Balasar in Haryana, two senior officers of the special investigation team (SIT) constituted by the Punjab Government to look into the Rs-400 cr Muktsar irrigation scheme, questioned former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at his official residence here today.

While Mr Badal described it as a “routine thing” which was being played up as a “drama” at the instance of the state government, the Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order), Mr A.A. Siddiqui, confirmed that two officers visited Mr Badal’s house as per an appointment to question him about his role in deciding the cases. “He answered some questions and wanted more time to answer the remaining ones,” said Mr Siddiqui.

“They wanted to clarify certain things about the orders I had passed on the file in connection with a special project to deal with a severe waterlogging problem in the Muktsar area. And I told them that I stand by every word of my order,” Mr Badal told The Tribune, maintaining that it was “the state government, which wanted to play up this routine and formal exercise as something major”.

“In fact, a police officer had approached me some days ago that the SIT wanted to come and talk to me about the Muktsar case and enquired about my availability. I told him that I am always available and an appointment was fixed for today.

“Two officers — I cannot identify them by their designation — came and asked me about the orders I had passed on the file. The Chief Secretary had passed detailed orders in the case, asking the officers concerned to explain their conduct before an inquiry could be ordered against them as per law of the land. I agreed with his orders. 

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