Amritsar, May 22 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded immediate withdrawal of a false case against Chandigarh journalist Jai Singh Chhibber for writing about the black magic practices of Congress minister Charanjit Channi including his latest move to sacrifice a black goat to save his ministership besides a high level inquiry into the murder of Nawansheher journalist Sanpreet Mangat.
Addressing a press conference here, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said this was not the first time that the controversial minister had targeted journalists and gave a list of three more journalists against whom Channi had registered false cases. He said false cases under section 188 and 505 were being filed against journalists in almost every district in the State. He also announced that the SAD would provide free legal aid to all the journalists besides the family of Sanpreet Mangat.
Terming the attack on the freedom of the press in Punjab as similar to the manner in which Indira Gandhi had targeted journalists during Emergency, Mr Bikram Majithia said the current gagging of journalists was intolerable. He also appealed to the media to unite against this atrocity saying the Ropar police had at Channi’s instance not only raided Chhibber’s house in Chandigarh today morning but had also misbehaved with his teenaged daughter.
Speaking about the case against Jai Singh Chhibber, the SAD leader said a false case was registered against the journalist even though he had not named Channi. “Chhibber however did recount the black magic activities of Channi including the fact that he had encroached on a green belt in front of his house to create a road on the advise of a tantric. We all have seen pictures of Channi astride an elephant and wearing a shawl in the summer. Now it seems he was ready to sacrifice a black goat in order to save himself from eviction from the Punjab Cabinet.”
Demanding action against the Congress minister, Mr Majithia said Charanjit Channi had earlier also harassed a woman IAS officer who had complained against him similar to other “Me Too” complainants. He said however Pradesh Congress President Sunil Jakhar and Rahul Gandhi had saved Channi with the State government refusing to even order an inquiry into the case. Terming Channi as a habitual offender Majithia said the minister had also registered false cases against three journalists – Sajjan Singh Saini, Manjit Singh Saini and Iqbal Singh in Chamkaur Sahib. “He is also known to toss to decide postings besides having failed to clear his PhD of the Indian National Congress before he was given grace marks to pass him eventually”.
Mr Majithia also highlighted the atrocity against Sanpreet Mangat who he said he been murdered by the mining mafia. He said the murder was discovered only because of a post mortem report which recorded fourteen sharp edged injuries afflicted upon Sanpreet even as the Nawansheher police tried to pass off his death as an accident.