Patiala mayor asked to quit after being named in murder case
Chandigarh, Feb 25 : Embarrassed by the controversy around its mayor in Patiala after he was named in a murder case, Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal Monday asked him to resign from his post.
"Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal has directed Mayor of Patiala Municipal Corporation Jaspal Singh Pradhan to immediately tender his resignation from the post of mayor in view of the case registered against him," said party secretary Daljit Singh Cheema.
Pradhan was booked by Punjab Police Saturday, along with his "wife" Paramjit Kaur and "son" Harpreet Singh after his "daughter-in-law" Parampreet Kaur was found dead in her house in Patiala, 80 km from here, Saturday. All three were booked for murder and conspiracy.
Pradhan had denied that Paramjit and Harpreet were his wife and son respectively. He claimed that she was his friend's wife whom he had been helping.
However, the victim's family claimed that Pradhan had behaved like a father-in-law in the past few years ever since the victim was married to Harpreet.
There were allegations that the mayor tried to hush up the matter initially by passing off the mysterious death of Parampreet as a case of suicide.
Police have arrested Paramjit Kaur and Harpreet while Pradhan continued to be free Monday.
Taking serious cognizance of the incident, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Monday constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under a senior womam police officer, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Shashi Prabha Diwedi, and instructed her to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation.
"The three member team, comprising the IGP, Deputy Inspector general R.K. Jaiswal and Superintendent of Police Balbir Singh, has been sent to the spot and chief minister has directed the team to submit the report at the earliest," a government spokesman said here.
The opposition Congress had asked the Akali Dal to come clean on the Patiala incident and not to influence investigation involcing the mayor.