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punjab drug racket
ED grills CPS Avinash Chander, MLA Phillaur
Nikhil Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 13
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today grilled Punjab Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) Avinash Chander and Kartarpur MLA Sarvan Singh Phillaur for their alleged involvement in the Rs 6,000 crore drug racket case.

The Akali leaders were summoned by the ED under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after their names figured in the Goraya-based businessman Chuni Lal Gaba's diary. It is alleged that they received money from the Gabas, who are linked to the drug racket.

Sources said Phillaur was interrogated by ED Assistant Director Niranjan Singh for around five hours. Phillaur arrived at the ED office with his son Damanbir at 11.15 am. Avinash came at 2.15 pm, but returned within 10 minutes as he was to be questioned at 4 pm. He was accompanied by his supporters, his brother Steven Kler and former CPS from Ludhiana Harish Rai Dhanda.

Avinash avoided media queries and kept mum on the entry of Rs 48 lakh against his name in the Gaba's dairy.

At 4.30 pm, Phillaur came out of the ED office and said he was honest in giving reply to ED officials. His son Damanbir said: "Anybody can level allegations. We have submitted our reply to counter the allegations of receiving money from the Gabas." Sources said Jalandhar MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh will be questioned by the ED on October 17. "I am Mr clean. My political opponents are trying to malign my image," said Santokh Singh.

Hayre denies taking money from Gabas

Former president of the Punjab NRI Sabha Kamaljit Singh Hayre said he had not made any monetary transactions with the Gabas at any stage of his life. "There might have been some mischief or confusion at some stage, but it is clear that I have not taken any money from the Gabas," said Hayre.





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