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Raids on Dhumal's properties in Punjab
February 07, 2003 22:00 IST
Punjab State Electricity Board officials on Friday raided four premises belonging to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his relatives in Jalandhar.
The raids were conducted following reports of alleged power theft, official sources said.
One of the premises raided was Dhumal's residence and the others were business establishments belonging to his family members.
As soon as the news spread, Bharatiya Janata Party workers, including former minister Manoranjan Kalia, reached Dhumal's residence.
Dhumal's associates alleged that the raids were conducted at the behest of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
On Thursday Dhumal had moved the court of chief judicial magistrate, Shimla, under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code seeking damages from Amarinder Singh and two other Congress leaders, Motilal Vora and Anand Sharma, for saying he was corrupt.
Amarinder said on Friday that he would file a counter-suit in Jalandhar in a day or two to expose Dhumal.
"We did not make the allegations in the air. We have solid evidence against Dhumal and his close relatives. We are not going to run away. He is seeking judicial protection in order to prevent us from airing our views on this matter. Once the election is over in Himachal Pradesh on February 26, it is he who is going to run away..." Amarinder Singh said.
He claimed that Dhumal and his relatives had acquired six business ventures and properties in the last five years. "These are worth more then Rs10 crore. Dhumal had denied that he has anything to do with the Delhi Public School, which is being run by the Saraswati Educational Foundation. Two of his sons, namely Anurag Singh Thakur and Arun Singh Thakur, are on the board of trustees of this foundation. In all there are eight trustees. The two sons of Dhumal together have invested Rs3 crore in this school. This is a good school and I would like Dhumal to open few more schools in Punjab, but the only thing he should not do is to either disown them or tell lies about it," he added.
Corruption and development will be the major issues in the Himachal elections, he said.
With inputs from Onkar Singh in New Delhi
More reports from Himachal Pradesh