Published On: Tue, Apr 9th, 2019

AAP condemns EC order of shifting IPS officer

Chandigarh: The EC’s order of shifting IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh was strongly condemned by the opposition parties led by the AAP, while the SAD defended the move, claiming that the election watchdog found that he was “not acting as a police officer”.

Punjab cadre IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh was shifted on Monday for “violating” the model code of conduct.

Raising questions over the EC’s move, representatives of the Aam Aadmi Party and the Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) sought a review of the order.

AAP Punjab unit chief and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann demanded that the decision be reviewed.

AAP MLA and Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema said how could the EC shift the officer who is the member of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing 2015 sacrilege and police firing incidents, when the investigation were already on before the model code of conduct coming into force.

“The EC’s move seems to be politically-motivated as a police officer was shifted on the false complaint of the Akali Dal,” claimed Cheema.

Punjab Ekta Party chief Sukhpal Singh Khaira demanded reversal of the Election Commission’s (EC) order, which he described it as a “dictatorial” one.

“The EC has become party to political conspiracy hatched by the SAD in connivance with the BJP-led Centre to remove Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh in the name of model code of conduct. His removal was mala fide and politically-motivated,” alleged Khaira.

Meanwhile, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal accused Singh of “not acting as a police officer”.

“When the truth emerged before the EC, it was found that he (Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh) was not acting as a police officer. He was working like an office-bearer of the Congress,” claimed Sukhbir.

Five-time chief minister and Akali stalwart Parkash Singh Badal, while reacting to the EC’s order, said the EC was an independent authority.

“The Election Commission is an independent authority. It does not have anything to do with any political party. It is a constitutional body,” claimed Badal.

Following a complaint lodged by the Akali Dal against the IPS officer, the EC had directed the Punjab government to divest him of his present post for “violating” the model code of conduct.

Besides being a member of the SIT, Singh was also holding the charge of Inspector General of Police Crime and additional charge of the organised crime control unit (OCCU).

Following the directions of the EC, the Punjab government posted him as the IG Counter Intelligence (Amritsar).

Though the EC order did not specifically mention about divesting him of as an SIT member, a senior government functionary in the Punjab government Tuesday said the IG-rank officer has been relieved of this charge as well.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) condemned chief minister Amarinder Singh for accusing the EC of wrongdoing simply because it had “exposed” the Congress government’s “conspiracy” to target the SAD and its top leadership and restrained it from this act.

In a statement here, SAD senior vice president Daljit Singh Cheema said it was “shocking” that the chief minister had acted against “constitutional propriety and challenged the fairness” of the EC which had adjudicated on a complaint filed against the IPS officer by the SAD.

Earlier, the chief minister described the EC order as “biased” and decided to approach the election watchdog to seek a review of relieving the Inspector General-rank officer of his charge.

PTI

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