Chandigarh, April 14The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), here on Sunday, urged the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) for an independent probe into recovery of Rs 6.65 crore by Punjab Police from the house of a Christian priest, which later went missing.
Alleging that the money could be misused by the Congress in the parliamentary polls, the SAD demanded a thorough probe into the missing money and strict action against police officers concerned.
SAD senior vice-president Daljit Singh Cheema in a statement said it was important to find the money trail. "We have reasons to believe this money could find its way into the hands of the Congress and its leaders and be used to influence voters in the parliamentary polls. Only an independent probe can prevent this and bring the guilty of the crime to book," Cheema said.
The SAD leader said the Khanna Police had been exposed by the special investigation team, appointed to probe the case, but even the SIT could not proceed against the Congress or its leaders.
"As per the latest information, it has been ascertained that two assistant sub-inspectors and a police informer made off with Rs 6.65 crore and the police were looking for the three accused. It seems doubtful that two low-level police officers could commit the crime without any political patronage," Cheema said.
"The SIT is constrained because it reports to the Congress government and cannot explore this angle. This is why an independent probe, supervised by the EC, is necessary to get to the bottom of the case," he said.
The Akali leader also demanded registration of cases against all officers of the Khanna police district who tried to give a clean chit to the policemen after the Christian priest, Father Anthony Madasserry, claimed that Rs 16.32 crore had been seized from his residence last month, but the authorities had shown recovery of only Rs 9.66 crore.
"The Khanna police did its utmost to discredit Father Madasserry and refused any wrong doing on its part. But bank officials (of South Indian Bank) who counted the money as well as CCTV footage nailed the lies of the Khanna police," Cheema claimed.
He also demanded a probe why the Khanna police claimed that it seized the money from Doraha, and not the priest's house in Jalandhar.