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"Political vendetta..." Congress Punjab chief on Khaira's arrest

Chandigarh: Terming the arrest of Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira in connection with a 2015 drugs case as a 'political vendetta', the party's Punjab unit chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring on Friday said that we will fight till the end. 
Earlier on Thursday, Khaira was arrested from his residence and later was sent to a two-day police remand by Fazlika's Jalalabad court in connection with a 2015 drugs smuggling case. Fazlika's Jalalabad court sent Khaira to police custody till September 30.
Ahead of protes by the Congress in Bhatinda, Warring said that a delegation of Punjab Congress had gone to meet Khaira but they were informed that Khaira was being moved to Fazlika jail.
"Vendetta politics is being done by involving him (Sukhpal Singh Khaira) in an old case. We will first meet Khaira and after meeting him we will decide what we have to do. This is being done to take revenge," Punjab Congress chief Warring said while speaking to reporters. 
"We can't be silent. We will fight till the end," he added. 
Protests broke out in several districts across the state with Congress workers agitating against the AAP government on Thursday. 
On Thursday evening, the Congress delegation had also called on Governor Banwari Lal Purohit at Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh and briefed him about the arrest of Khaira in detail.
Speaking to reporters after meeting the Governor, Congress Punjab unit chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring alleged that the border state was under Jungle Raj.
"We briefed the Governor about everything that happened with Sukhpal Singh Khaira. How a false case was booked. How jungle raj has begun in Punjab. How vendetta politics is being done by involving him in an 8-year-old case...A case was registered and police came directly to catch him," the Congress leader said.
Warring hoped the Governor would take cognizance of the matter.
Sukhpal Khaira was arrested in connection with an old case registered in 2015 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Earlier in 2015, there were two cases originated with the unearthing of a cross-border drug smuggling network in Fazilka, Punjab, leading to the seizure of heroin, gold biscuits, weapons, cartridges, and Pakistani SIM cards and the second of a fake passport racket being run in Delhi.
As the trial went on, nine smugglers, including Gurdev Singh, Manjit Singh, Harbans Singh, and Subhash Chander, were sentenced in October 2017 in connection with the Fazilka case. As per the chargesheet, Sukhpal Khaira was
closely associated with Gurdev Singh, the leader of the Fazilka drug smuggling racket, and was accused of having sheltered him.
The primary accusations against Khaira included supporting an international gang of smugglers, having sheltered him and receiving financial benefits from drug traffickers, and enjoying the proceeds of crime.
On February 16, 2023, a Supreme Court bench of Justices BR Gavai and Vikram Nath quashed the summoning order against Khaira in the drugs case.
The arrest of Sukhpal Khaira is expected to further dent the relations of AAP and the Congress which have come together to form the INDIA alliance at the centre. The state unit of the Congress has opposed any tie-up or seatsharing arrangement with the AAP in Punjab.

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