Chandigarh, May 5 (PTI) The Aam Aadmi Party, which is the main opposition in Punjab, today sought the transfer of the SSP Jalandhar (Rural), accusing him of shielding a Congress nominee for Shahkot Assembly bypoll, who has been booked in an illegal sand mining case.

It claimed that according to media reports, the SSP had said that registration of the FIR was a faux pas and he would take disciplinary action against the SHO of Mehatpur police station who registered the FIR on the directions of the Election commission.

An AAP delegation, led by Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira, requested the Punjab chief electoral officer here to shift SSP of Jalandhar (Rural) ahead of the Assembly bypoll.

According to the police, a case was filed against Congress nominee Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowalia, Surjeet Singh and Ashwinder Singh yesterday for alleged illegal sand mining in different villages of Jalandhar district.

The case was registered under the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation Act) 1957, they said.

Khaira, in his letter to the Punjab chief electoral officer, said, “This is my complaint against SSP Jalandhar (Rural), who is blatantly shielding Shahkot Congress nominee Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowalia against whom FIR No 52 was registered for illegal mining at PS Mehatpur (Jalandhar) yesterday on the directions of ECI.” “The said the SSP is on record in media reports that the FIR was a faux pas and that he will take disciplinary action against the SHO Mehatpur, who registered the FIR on the directions of the Election Commission. By saying so, the SSP… is working as per the whims and fancies of his political masters,” he alleged.

“There is no chance of a free and fair bypoll in Shahkot under his command. Hence I as the Leader of Opposition demand the transfer of SSP Jalandhar Rural without any further delay so that he doesn’t interfere in the investigation into the FIR,” Khaira wrote in the letter.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal also demanded the arrest of Laddi in connection with the illegal mining case and accused Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar of trying to clear the name of the party candidate.

SAD MP Balwinder Singh Bhundur, in a statement, urged the Election Commission to direct the state police to take appropriate legal action against Laddi, including his immediate arrest.

“The EC should also monitor the case directly as the Congress, including its state chief, is making all efforts to get Laddi off the hook,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.