Oh Punjab !

August 19, 2021 04:51 PM

Ajay Bhardwaj

Seldom do you hear DGP rank officers being put behind the bars. Punjab scripted the first chapter of it in September 2007 when former Punjab DGP SS Virk was picked up by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau sleuths from the Maharashtra Bhawan in Delhi for allegedly amassing properties disproportionate to his assets. 

Sumedh Saini, who was arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau on August 19, was the director-general of the Vigilance Bureau when he had cracked on Virk. 

Now, there are a plethora of charges framed against Saini today who held his whip with gay abandon in the past.

Is it that officers are falling prey to the gameplans of their political masters?  

Traditionally, it has been the chief ministers coming from rival political parties instituting commissions of inquiry against the predecessor and settle the scores, though no commission report reached the conclusive end. This practice started in the 1970s when Giani Zail Singh and Parkash Singh Badal ( 1977-80) sought to wreak political vengeance on each other..

In 2002 when Capt Amarinder Singh took over the baton, he made sure to sharpen the weapon by engaging the Vigilance Bureau for settling political scores and the state, in due course, saw  Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal put behind the bars in a case of disproportionate assets etc. The Badals were let off in no time and the case entered the dark alleys.

The Bureau has since been under a cloud. Incidentally, the present Vigilance Bureau chief BK Uppal had captained the VB team to nail the Badals.

Even as the case against the Badals fell through ( practically), in 2007 the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, headed by SS Saini, registered a case of disproportionate assets against former DGP SS Virk and in an early morning swoop arrested him from the Maharasthra Bhawan in Delhi. A few months later the Bureau registered a corruption case against former CM Capt Amarinder Singh and his son Raninder Singh making the entire state feel is Punjab heading the right way.

All cases have fallen flat so far, and now the Dragon has caught up with the former Vigilance Bureau chief SS Saini.

Whither shall it go henceforth, Oh Punjab !

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