The Election Commission of India (ECI) Monday ordered the transfer of Punjab Inspector General (IG) Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh and also “temporarily” relieved him of his role in the five-member SIT probing the incidents of sacrilege and police firing on protesters in 2015.
The EC action, which was result of a SAD complaint alleging that the Punjab IG had given a “politically-motivated” TV interview, came at a time when the ruling Congress in the state was hoping for some strong SIT action to keep the Bargari narrative alive in the run up to the polls. The IG was perceived to be “going aggressively ahead” with his probe.
A miffed Congress said that the transfer orders were aimed at demoralising not just one officer, but the entire SIT. Pointing out that the state’s chief electoral officer, Dr S Karuna Raju, was posted at important positions during Badals’ regime, Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa questioned if the CEO was favouring the Badals.
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SAD chief Sukhbir Badal, however, said that the state’s Congress government was working to slap false cases against Akalis over the sacrilege incidents.
“It is their game plan to get us booked in false cases as the Congress is frustrated,” he said on the sidelines of a SAD rally in Nurmahal.
While both parties were busy taking political potshots at each other over the issue, the EC in its order against the officer observed: “Contents of a part of the interview has political connotations and has the potential to show certain political leaders in poor light. The officer also mentioned the name of leaders of the SAD, which is clearly in violation of the provision of model code of conduct.”
Singh, who was IG (Crime) with additional charge of IG (Organised Crime Control Unit) has now been posted as IG (Counter Intelligence) at Amritsar.