Chandigarh, March 6 IANS | 10 months ago

The opposition Congress in Punjab Thursday urged the Election Commission to remove state director general of police Sumedh Singh Saini from his post saying that he had secretly met chief electoral officer V.K. Singh at his own residence.

Congress spokesman Sukhpal Singh Khaira said that the CEO went to Saini's official residence in Chandigarh for an unofficial "secret" meeting even though a complaint was pending with the poll panel regarding Saini's removal to ensure free and fair Lok Sabha elections in the state.

He said that it was improper for the CEO, who had to ensure fair and free elections in Punjab, to meet the DGP on whom he had to submit a report to the EC.

"The allegations of this secret meeting were denied by Saini who went to the extent of getting records fabricated to show meetings between him and other police officers at his camp office (residence), where his alleged meeting with V.K. Singh, CEO, had taken place.

"Even the timing of the fabricated meetings with police officers was shown to be at the same time as the alleged meeting with the CEO had taken place," Khaira claimed.

Khaira also urged the poll panel to examine the impartiality of the CEO for the April 30 general elections in Punjab given the instance of his meeting with the DGP.

He also sought action against senior Punjab Police officers who had claimed that they were with the DGP on the given date and had denied that any meeting had taken place between the DGP and the CEO.

"Completely contrary to their claims, V.K. Singh has admitted the fact that he had gone to Saini's residence at the alleged day and time and met him. The fact of this meeting as admitted by him proves that Saini had met V. K. Singh with the intention to keep this meeting secret with obvious ulterior motives. Therefore, he (Saini) went to the extent of fabricating the records to show that this meeting never took place," Khaira contended.

A delegation of senior Congress leaders, including union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, Punjab Congress President Pratap Singh Bajwa, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar and others met EC functionaries in New Delhi last month to seek the removal of Saini.

"Cognizance must be taken of role of current Director General of Police, Sumedh Singh Saini. He actively coordinated movement of money and other resources during the Vidhan Sabha elections in 2012 despite being a serving officer.

"He is currently facing trial in a case of abduction and murder. His transfer and monitoring of his activities post removal from this very important post is critical for ensuring that police do not hinder free and fair elections in Punjab," said the memorandum submitted by the Congress leaders.

Punjab has 13 Lok Sabha seats which go to polls April 30.

(Posted on 06-03-2014)

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