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Panels to review cases against SAD men
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Even as the Punjab Congress is crying hoarse that its supporters and leaders are facing police cases due to political vendetta of the ruling SAD-BJP combine, the Punjab government has gone ahead and formed special committees to review those cases that were registered against SAD workers to settle political scores during the previous Congress regime led by Amarinder Singh.

Well-placed sources in the government confirmed today that review committees had been formed in the districts to screen a total of 178 cases. The cases are those in which the SAD or the BJP opine that political vendetta of the previous government was the motive behind the action. Separately, the Punjab police has received a list of 31 cases which the Congress alleges are based on political vendetta against its workers during the past three months of the present government. However, there have been no instructions from the government to review these cases along with the 178 cases registered against SAD workers by the Congress regime.

The review committees will go through all “politically motivated” cases registered during Amarinder Singh’s regime. The committees will have three members —- the deputy commissioner and the SSP of the district concerned besides the district attorney (legal). Genuinely aggrieved persons will get a clean chit and matters will be resolved instead of dragging anybody through the process of law, said a top functionary while confirming the move.

During the previous regime, SAD workers had levelled allegations that Amarinder Singh was being high-handed and cases were registered merely “to teach people a lesson”. The SAD had openly alleged that B.I.S. Chahal, the then media adviser to the former Chief Minister, was behind several of the cases.

More than a month ago, all SSPs in Punjab were asked to provide a list of cases that were apparently registered to settle political scores during the previous Congress regime from 2002 to February, 2007. Sources said the lists sent by the SSPs were screened and the number was whittled down to 178 cases which involved some vendetta.

In the past Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had given an assurance that he would get all such cases probed in which allegations of vendetta were levelled. This included cases registered by the Congress also during its tenure. Badal has been asking the Congress to give a list of cases which it claims are based on vendetta. The Congress had submitted a list of 25 cases in the first lot.

Later, president of the PPCC Shamsher Singh Dullo asked the presidents of the district Congress committees to bring data on cases of political vendetta in their respective districts after the SAD-BJP combine took over. Leader of the opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal claimed that the Congress had a list of 121 cases.

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