India News

3 weeks after win, case of illegal mining against MLA cancelled

Three weeks after he won the Shahkot Assembly byelection on May 31, an FIR for illegal mining lodged against Congress leader Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowalia at Mehatpur police station has been cancelled by the Jalandhar (Rural) police.
Laddi was booked on May 4 under Section 21 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and Section 379 (theft) of the IPC by the then Mehatpur SHO, Inspector Parminder Bajwa. The FIR was filed just a day after he had been officially declared as the party candidate for the May 28 bypoll.
Mehatpur SHO Sulakhan Singh, who joined on June 5, said he had filed the cancellation report and sent it to Shahkot DSP Dilbagh Singh, who was also the inquiry officer in the case. The DSP said he had approved the cancellation.
SSP (Rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said, “We got a thorough inquiry done by the officials, including the SDM and Tehsildar of Shahkot. Since elections were on at the time, they had even taken videography teams along to the 11 villages from where complaints regarding illegal sand mining had emerged against Laddi. But nothing came out. Nothing illegal was found at any of the sites. The FIR was found to be baseless and hence we started the process of cancellation.”
Regarding Inspector Bajwa, the SSP said, “He remains under suspension since the case was lodged against him by the Jalandhar Commissionerate Police after he barged into the courts complex with a weapon.” Post Bajwa’s treatment for bipolar disorder, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh announced that he will remain in service.
Shahkot SDM Jagjit Singh, when asked about the inquiry part handled by him, said, “Other than this FIR, there were many complaints against Laddi. I had put up many reports. I do not remember off-hand as to which visit of mine to these villages formed part of the inquiry pertaining to the first information report.”
The FIR, number 52, was filed against Laddi, mining contractor Surjeet Singh, Laddi’s cousin Ashwinder Singh of Malsian and mining and revenue authorities after Mohan Singh, general secretary, Brick Kiln Labourers Union (CPIM) from Malri village in Nakodar, had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India.