Jalandhar, September 29
The arrest of Congress leader and Bholath legislator Sukhpal Khaira from his house at Chandigarh by the Punjab Police has prompted state’s various Opposition parties to launch a tirade against the AAP. This also felt much like a deja vu moment.
Controversy’s baby, firebrand leader Sukhpal Khaira has previously faced cases and arrests multiple times. Often registration of cases coincide with him being vocal about the current situation of politics under the then ruling dispensations.
He has often been among a few leaders, who speak about certain issues that no one else addresses.
Khaira has regularly spoken against people, including a bevy of state’s senior political leaders like his oldest constituency rival Bibi Jagir Kaur and Congress leader Rana Gurjit Singh. He had constantly taken on the then SAD and Congress governments and their CMs during his tenure in the party and the AAP.
Ever since the formation of the AAP government in the state, Khaira has been among the most vocal critics of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and the ruling dispensation.
Ironically, the case in which he was presently arrested was filed against him in 2015 during the tenure of the SAD government in Punjab.
Khaira has alleged it was a false case registered to target him by the then government. He also said that the 2015 NDPS Act case had already been quashed by the Supreme Court.
In a statement, the AAP retorted that the SIT probing the matter had found enough evidence to prove Khaira’s alleged involvement in the case.
Incidentally, cases against Khaira have mostly added to his popularity.
On November 11, 2021, Khaira was arrested on money laundering charges by the ED. He served 78 days sentence at the Patiala Central Jail in this connection.
Released 22 days before the Assembly elections, Khaira won from the Bholath constituency with a margin of over 9,000 votes. As many as 37,254 votes were cast in his favour.
Other previous cases against Khaira include, brief detention in May 2020 by the police when he was at the Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Hall to hold a candle march in support of kabaddi player Arvinderjit Singh Pehalwan in Jalandhar.
Thirty persons, including Khaira, were booked under Section 188 of the IPC and 31(2) of the Disaster Management Act and 3(2) of the Epidemic Disease Act for organising candle march without prior permission.
Khaira was booked in April this year on a complaint by Kapurthala SDM Sanjiv Sharma, which was sent to CM and Chief Secretary, under Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 189 (threat of injury to public servant), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 500 (punishment for defamation) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
Another case was registered against him in connection with his ancestral family land dispute. During majority of his run-ins with the law enforcement agencies, Khaira’s son Mehtab Khaira held the fort during his father’s absence.
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