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Chandigarh, 28 September
Punjab Police on Thursday arrested Congress MLA from Bhultha, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, in an eight-year-old drugs case. A team led by Superintendent of Police Manjeet Singh raided Khaira’s Chandigarh residence at around 5.30 am. There was a long argument between Khaira and the police. After this the police arrested him and took him to Jalalabad. There Khaira got his medical done and was presented in the court. The court sent him on police remand for two days. However, the police had demanded 7 days police remand.
Earlier, MLA Khaira’s son went ‘live’ on Facebook and showed that a Punjab Police team had reached his residence to arrest Khaira. In the video, Khaira can be seen arguing with the police team and asking to show the arrest warrant. They are seen asking the police officers to show their identity cards.
The SIT was formed in April 2023 under the leadership of Deputy Inspector General of Police Swapan Sharma and Khaira has been arrested on the basis of investigation in a 2015 drugs case. Khaira claimed that he was being held in a fake case and ‘Jungle Raj’ was going on in Punjab. Congress state unit chief Amarinder Singh Raja Wading and opposition leader Pratap Singh Bajwa condemned Khaira’s arrest. However, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rejected the allegations, saying the action against Khaira had been taken as per law.
This drug related case was registered in Jalalabad, Fazilka in March 2015. In this, an FIR was registered against 9 people including Gurdev Singh and he was later convicted under the NDPS Act. Gurdev Singh is said to be close to Khaira. Police had recovered two kilograms of heroin, 24 gold biscuits, one country-made pistol, one .315 bore pistol and two Pakistani SIM cards from the accused. Khaira’s name later surfaced during the police investigation. The Supreme Court in 2017 had stayed the trial court proceedings against Khaira, who was summoned as an additional accused in the case. Khaira was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in 2021 on money laundering charges related to a 2015 drug case, but got bail in 2022. In February 2023, the Supreme Court had quashed the summoning order against Khaira in the drugs case.
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