Hitting out at the Punjab government after a Fazilka court summoned him in a drug case, opposition AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira today said the Amarinder Singh dispensation was trying to “intimidate and gag” political opponents. “The drug case charges against me are a well-planned and deep-rooted conspiracy by the Captain Amarinder Singh government in the garb of judicial order,” the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly said here in a statement. A court in Fazilka on October 31 sentenced nine people to imprisonment in a trans-border heroin smuggling racket, which surfaced in 2015, and summoned Khaira on November 30. Trashing Khaira’s accusations, state Congress chief and party MP Sunil Jakhar said, “Khaira is a learned man and must know judicial order cannot be influenced by the government.”
“The government has nothing to do with it,” he said. “Khaira should know that his claim tantamount to contempt of court.” However, Khaira said the court summons is of judicial nature, but events that led to it are politically motivated. “I am being victimised, targeted and hounded by the Captain Amarinder Singh government. This is a perfect case of political terrorism being unleashed by the government upon its opponents with the intention to intimidate and gag the voice of opposition in Punjab,” he said. Khaira said he would move the High Court shortly to challenge the summoning.
Meanwhile, a joint SAD-BJP delegation today submitted a memorandum to the Vidhan Sabha Speaker demanding immediate removal of Khaira from the post of leader of opposition. The joint delegation, led by Ajit Singh Kohar and Som Prakash, asked Speaker Rana K P Singh to take take immediate action against Khaira in view of the “judicial indictment”. Briefing newsmen, senior SAD leader Bikram Majithia said Khaira should not to try to “defame” the courts.