Shahkot bypoll: EC removes Punjab Police officer

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Chandigarh, May 11 (IANS) The Election Commission (EC) on Friday ordered the removal of controversial police officer Parminder Singh Bajwa ahead of the May 28 Shahkot Assembly bypoll in Punjab’s Jalandhar district.

“The Chief Electoral Officer has appointed Inspector Hardeep Singh as the new station house officer of Mehatpur in place of Inspector Parminder Singh,” a spokesman of the Chief Electoral Officer said here.

In a related development, Bajwa was detained by police on Friday from a court complex in Jalandhar on charge of obstructing government officers from performing their duty.

Bajwa allegedly tried to enter the court room with his licensed weapon but was asked to deposit it outside. He allegedly pushed aside the officer, after which he was detained.

While he was whisked away in a police vehicle, Bajwa told the media that he feared for his life from the police.

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Bajwa had last week registered a case of illegal mining against Congress candidate Hardev Singh Laadi within hours of his being named as a ruling party candidate.

The case was registered at 4.26 a.m., raising suspicion about the urgency of the action.

Later, video footage of Bajwa allegedly moving around with a woman in a five-star hotel in Jalandhar emerged. His call records, as per the government, revealed that he spoke to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders.

The Congress government headed by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had urged the EC to transfer SHO Bajwa “in the interest of free and fair bypoll”.

A government spokesperson had alleged a “major political conspiracy” against the Congress government ahead of the by-election.

The seat fell vacant following the death of SAD legislator Ajit Singh Kohar in February. Kohar, a former Minister, was elected five times from this seat. Laddi lost to Kohar by nearly 5,000 votes in the February 2017 elections.

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–IANS

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