Suspended Punjab DSP rakes up 28-year-old case against Bharat Bhushan Ashu

The opposition had alleged Bharat Bhushan Ashu’s involvement in the project, which did not have the required change in land use condition. (File)

In a fresh twist in the ongoing tussle between DSP Balwinder Singh Sekhon and Punjab Cabinet Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, the suspended Punjab Police officer Sunday raked up a 28-year-old case saying that Congress leader had confessed to harbouring two Khalistani militants and conspiring to murder his own uncle.

Sekhon was suspended by the Punjab Police after Ashu complained against him to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in a Cabinet meeting accusing the DSP of abusing him on social media sites. Sekhon had conducted a probe into a scam pertaining to a residential project in Ludhiana after the then Local Bodies Minister Navjot Sidhu had entrusted him with the inquiry. The opposition had alleged Ashu’s involvement in the project, which did not have the required change in land use condition.

Addressing media, Sekhon produced a copy of Ashu’s statement given to the then SP City Ludhiana SS Sandhu dated May 6, 1992. The statement said that Ashu had harboured two militants of Bhindranwale Tiger Force and conspired to murder his paternal uncle to avenge the murder of his parents.

Sekhon said for reasons best known to authorities, police had not produced the challan about the murder conspiracy and Ashu was acquitted on technical grounds.

Meanwhile, trashing DSP’s allegations as “atrocious” and “bizarre”, Ashu stated that Sekhon was trying to rake up a 28-year-old old case in which he was duly exonerated by the Court only after due legal process. He said the case was being raked up for political reasons.

In a statement issued here, Ashu, while referring to the cases highlighted by the suspended DSP, said that the “bunch of lies proffered” by Shekon “were nothing but a desperate attempt to malign his political image”.

“A tainted police officer has now come up with a concocted story with no iota of truth in it,” Ashu said, adding that the timing of the “so-called revelations” in itself reveal about the end purpose the police officer wants to achieve.

Ashu said that nobody is above the law and a police officer who has been time and again suspended for his public misconduct cannot shield behind this smokescreen he is trying to build with falsehood and vilification.

Expressing his angst, the Minister said, “It is beneath my dignity to even reply to these shameful lies. It is shameful that one of my family member’s name is being dragged into this. My uncle had died a natural death. My life is open to scrutiny”.

Taking strong exception to “a suspended DSP going around making false allegations”, Ashu said if there is something he wants to say he should approach the courts.