The Election Commission of India today transferred DIG (Patiala Range) SK Asthana. A panel of three officers has been sent by the government to the ECI.
The empanelled officers include DIG (Security) RL Bhagat,DIG (Commando) Sham Lal Gakhar,both of 1991 batch,and DIG (Crime) RPS Brar of the 1992 batch. Bhagats name also figured in the panel sent earlier to replace Amritsar DIG (Range) Param Pal Singh Sidhu.
Patiala MP Preneet Kaur and the District Congress Committee had complained to the ECI that Asthana,former SSP of Patiala who was promoted as DIG few days before the election code of conduct came into force,had unleashed terror on Congress workers.
During Asthanas stint as the Patiala SSP,most of the candidates had to leave the front during PRI and municipal elections. Many of them were mercilessly beaten up by the police, said the Congress complaint. The government had twice given a report to the ECI,giving Asthana a clean chit.
Meanwhile,the ECI has also got a complaint from the Congress against DIG (Vigilance Bureau),Bathinda,Jatinder Kumar Jain. The Congress alleged that he was also transferred just before the elections,and he has also been harassing the residents to get votes in favour of the SAD candidate. The commission has asked for a report from the state government.
Meanwhile,the ECI has instructed the state government to get all the licensed weapons deposited with the police. The government has issued instructions to the DCs.
The commission has also transferred Bathinda BDPO Vipin Kumar to Sudhar in Ludhiana. The ECI has given approval to the state government to go ahead with the award of Rs 161 crore to 700-odd people whose land has been acquired for central university in Bathinda. The EC also allowed renewal of contracts of all panchayat secretaries that expired on February 18.