PunjabPolls | Liquor baron Doda and 24 others booked for holding illegal meeting in Fazilka jail


An illegal meeting of supporters with liquor baron Shiv Lal Doda, behind bars in a murder case, in the Fazilka sub-jail on Wednesday led to the assistant jail superintendent being suspended and booked along with 24 others, including leaders of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). The group was were there purportedly to discuss Doda’s plans for the February 4 Punjab assembly elections. On Thursday, Shiv Lal and his nephew Amit Doda were transferred to the Amritsar jail.

The tip-off about the “durbar” was given by Sunil Jakhar, the Congress’ Abohar MLA, behind whom Doda had finished second in the 2012 polls as an independent candidate. On instructions from the state’s chief electoral officer, VK Singh, a raid was conducted by a team of civil administration and police just after 7pm.

The team found various violations, including seven private vehicles and 24 persons inside “without even an entry in the visitor [register], even though visitor entry is allowed [only] between 9am and 2pm”, said a complaint from the office of the deputy commissioner (DC) to the senior superintendent of police (SSP) that is mentioned in the FIR. A sum of Rs 3.48 lakh was also recovered from the jail.

These outsiders included Ashok Ahuja, SAD circle president and a member of the Abohar municipal council, who has been running Doda’s public welfare work in his absence. Several Akali workers from Abohar completed the group.

[Source – Hindustan Times/Punjab]