HOUSE PROCEEDINGS on the concluding day of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha budget session saw the treasury and Opposition benches accusing each other of protecting and patronising those indulging in drug smuggling. Ruckus prevailed in the House with both sides shouting slogans against each other and trading blame for the drug menace in the state.
As discussion began on the issue, state Home Minister Anil Vij spoke about a criminal case registered in Chandigarh’s Sector 3 police station against a man called Amit Singh, who was caught with 201 gm heroin. Although the accused was arrested from Sector 39 in Chandigarh, he was staying as a guest on behalf of a former Congress MLA in the MLAs’ Hostel in Sector 4, he added.
“When police interrogated him, he said he was staying in the room of Congress MLA Srikrishan Hooda. When the drug supply is run from Congress’ own room, how can drug menace be curtailed? Room no. 8 is a Congress supply room of drugs. When Opposition party has opened a supply depot in room no. 8, how can they stop drug supply?” Vij asked, resulting in strong objection from the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress.
Vij’s remarks resulted in an over a 10-minute long disruption in the House’s proceedings with Speaker Gian Chand Gupta intervening multiple times.
Taking a dig at Vij later, INLD leader Abhay Chautala lashed out at BJP state chief Subhash Barala, accusing him of patronising a Tohana resident who was caught with 50 gm ‘chitta’ (heroin) on January 8 by a Special Investigation Team in Tohana.
“On January 8, the SIT apprehended two persons Ramu, son of Rameshwar and Vijender alias Jagwinder, son of Mewa Singh with 50 gm chitta. A silver-colour Santro car was also recovered from their possession. Several people tried to save Vijender from police,” said Abhay.
He further said, “This man is the one who travels in Subhash Barala’s car. The Santro car in which he was caught also had Subhash Barala and his picture on the rear windscreen. I agree that any smuggler can put anybody’s picture, but if the smuggler stays 24×7 with somebody then that somebody is also equally responsible,” Abhay said while taking out a bunch of papers bearing pictures of Vijender with Subhash Barala and another BJP leader.
He flashed several pictures of Vijender with Subhash Barala and Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, claiming that Balyan had even visited Vijender’s residence in Tohana. The dates and source of the pictures were not mentioned in the House. Abhay later told media persons that he was given the pictures by a “source”.
“To get him released (from police custody), several phone calls were made to the SIT. Even SIT’s superintendent of police was called several times. If you procure the call details of Subhash Barala and SP of the SIT for just January 8, you will realise how many calls were made by Barala to get Vijender released from police,” Abhay said, as the Opposition shouted, “shame-shame”.
“I do not have a grudge against Subhash Barala. My only point is that if such a responsible person makes attempt to save such a smuggler, then…drugs cannot be eradicated. I would like to ask the Home Minister…will you constitute another SIT?” Abhay asked.
The INLD leader also mentioned another incident quoting electronic media and social media reports wherein people were alleging that BJP’s candidate from Ellanabad, Pawan Beniwal, too was involved in the drugs business. Abhay claimed he had written a letter and given audio and video CDs to Vij, seeking an investigation.
“Will you act against Pawan Beniwal against whom I had given you audio and video CDs?” he asked Vij.
Vij then said, “Abhay Chautala ji had sent me a letter, which I had forwarded to the department for investigation. I never bury any letter. And the person whose name he is taking, I have got details of the cases registered against him. There is not a single case under the NDPS Act against him (Vijender).
However, there are other cases against him. I do not want to hide anything from the House. Investigation is on. Whatever action is required, we shall take it irrespective of whoever he is.”
“As far as audio or video CDs are concerned, I have not got any yet. I will get those also investigated the moment I receive them. But I would once again like to apprise the House that whosoever is found guilty in the investigation, irrespective of rank or stature, shall not be spared at any cost,” Vij added.
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