Amritsar: Cable operator Jaswinder Singh Jassi was not the only one who underwent mental agony and lost his cable network business to alleged highhandedness of Sarabjit Singh Raju, local in charge of Fastway cable network. There were several others who had met a similar fate in their fight for justice.
Those who stood against the might of Raju continue to struggle for over a decade now while those who bowed and joined hands with him managed to save their livelihood to a certain extent. “I have no faith left whether it is the CBI or the judiciary. Only the God can do justice now,” said Gurmukh Singh Khalsa, one of the prominent cable operators who along with 45 others had lodged a complaint against the then Siti Cable authorities for “illegally grabbing” their cable connections prior to the Amritsar Siti Cable sex scandal in 2003.
Disappointment was writ large on his face as he broke down while narrating his tale of woe. He had been running the cable network business successfully till the Siti Cable entered the arena and started grabbing the cable network in various parts of the city. “The cable operators joined hands and nominated me to fight against it as the head of the cable operators union. We filed a complaint, but the police did nothing on the pretext of investigations. We also met the then ADGP, but without any significant result and the complaints continue to linger on,” he said.
Khalsa said they then approached the Punjab Human Rights Organisation, an NGO that investigated the whole cable network nexus and brought the sex scandal to the fore following which a case was filed with the local police. “Within a week, the Punjab and Haryana High Court handed over the case to the CBI. But the accused got bail after the CBI failed to produce challan in the stipulated time period.”
According to Khalsa, following his release, Sarabjit parted ways with the Siti Cable and launched a parallel cable network. “He started grabbing cable connections of the operators who had lodged complaint against him. In order to take revenge, he grabbed my cable network and got registered two false cases of snatching and theft against me in 2007 and 2008. He also filed two complaints against my two sons,” he said.
He lamented that during the decade-long struggle, he lost his wife while he himself suffered a paralytic attack. “Our pleas to the police, CBI, judiciary and even the TDSAT fell on deaf ears,” he rued.
Gurdev Singh Bhullar, MD, Godfather Cable, is another such victim: “As many as seven cases were registered against me in a couple of years. In order to target me, the police even booked innocent persons in these cases at the behest of Raju,” he alleged. He alleged that Raju had threatened him to lodge 100 FIRs against him and it was only after the directions of the high court that the police desisted from registering false cases against him. “The court even fined the DGP for filing these false cases against me,” he said while showing orders of the court.
Displaying the photographs of CCTV footage, he alleged that Raju’s employees stole the entire equipment from his office in 2010, but the police did not register any case. He alleged the accused even conspired to eliminate him.
Both the victims alleged they had got no reprieve from the TDSAT. They hoped that the sacrifice that Jassi had made would at least stir the conscience of the judiciary and justice would be delivered to the victims.
Statements of victim’s family recorded
For the first time since Jaswinder committed suicide, the police team headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP) HS Brar today visited the victim’s family at their residence located in the interiors of the walled city. Brar said he interacted with the family members, including Jassi’s wife Balbir Kaur, son Brahmjot Singh and brothers of the deceased.
He said the police team, including Assistant Commissioner of Police Harjit Singh Dhaliwal and SHO Sukhwinder Randhawa recorded the statements of the family members for further investigations.
“We asked about the circumstances which ultimately led Jassi to take the step of ending his life in front of the Supreme Court and Punjab and Haryana High Court judges, who are also members of the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on March 28,” said Brar.
‘Harassed’, they too cry for justice
He (Raju) started grabbing cable connections of the operators who had lodged a complaint against him. He got registered two false cases of snatching and theft against me and my sons… I have no faith left whether it is the CBI or the judiciary. Only God can do justice now.
Gurmukh Singh Khalsa, former cable operator
Seven cases were registered against me in a couple of years. In order to target me, the police even booked innocent persons in these cases at the behest of Raju. Raju had threatened he would lodge 100 FIRs against me. It was only after the directions of the high court that the police desisted. The court even fined the DGP for filing these false cases against me
Gurdev Singh Bhullar, md, godfather cable
Bains brothers meet victim’s family
Independent MLAs from Ludhiana Balwinder Bains and Simarjit Bains on Thursday visited Jassi’s family and announced Rs 1 lakh for them. They alleged that Raju and his accomplices were small fish while the entire investment in the business was that of top politicians of the SAD-BJP government.
(Courtesy: The Tribune)