Chandigarh, December 10
Harjinder Singh Bittu, a former head of a Bathinda village, dubbed as “gangster” both by the Punjab government and opposition Akalis, on Tuesday strongly rebutted the accusation, terming it as “completely false” and threatened to file a defamation case against those making the allegation.
“The allegations describing me as a gangster are completely false,” Bittu said on Tuesday a day after he was dubbed as a “gangster”.
“I want to ask Punjab Chief Minister (Amarinder Singh) and others on what basis they made these allegations against me,” he asked, asserting that he had no links with any gangster.
Bittu, a former sarpanch of a village in Bathinda district, claimed he was acquitted by the court in several cases filed against him.
“I want to ask Amarinder Singh and other political leaders whether they were above courts,” he said and also dared them to prove their allegations.
“I will consult my lawyers and will file a defamation case or else they should prove that I am a gangster,” said Bittu, adding he and his family were upset with these accusations.
On Monday, the Punjab government had issued a statement, alleging that the Akali leadership had links with “gangster” Bittu who had been named in several criminal cases under relevant sections of the IPC and the Arms Act.
The state government had also released some photographs of Bittu posing with SAD leaders, including former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief Sukhbir Badal and Union minister Harsimrat Badal.
The Akali Dal too later released a photograph of Bittu, purportedly seen with Amarinder Singh during the poll campaigning in 2017.
SAD chief Sukhbir Badal had claimed that Amarinder was seen inducting “gangster” Bittu into the Congress party during the electioneering in 2017.
In a counter-offensive to Badal’s attempt to “wriggle out” of the controversy over his alleged links with “gangster” Bittu, Amarinder Singh in a statement had said Bittu was never a Congressman and had always been an Akali leader working for their party and having close ties with Badal junior.
The Akalis had reportedly tried to infiltrate many of their loyalists into the Congress ahead of the 2017 assembly elections and Bittu was one of them, Amarinder had said.
The chief minister on Monday also said he has ordered a probe into the alleged links between hardened criminals and top Akali leadership after he received photographs showing a criminal posing with SAD leaders.
Punjab police chief Dinkar Gupta earlier had said in a statement that Bittu had provided shelter to members of the notorious Gurpreet Sekhon gang in the past.
The chief minister earlier on Saturday had ordered a probe, while taking note of media reports on alleged nexus between gangsters and politicians in the state.
Amarinder Singh had also directed the state police chief to inquire into the “allegations as made out from the documents/photos” that have been submitted to him.
The chief minister on Monday had said he ordered the probe after receiving photographs, “clearly showing links of hardened criminals/gangsters with top Akali leadership”. — PTI
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