EC directs cancellation of parole to gangster Daljit Singh Bhana ahead of Jalandhar West bypoll

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Daljit Singh Bhana

Gangster Daljit Singh Bhana (File image)

Chandigarh: The Election Commission said Monday it has directed the cancellation of parole granted to gangster Daljit Singh Bhana until the election process for the July 10 bypoll to the Jalandhar West reserved assembly seat is over.

The direction follows complaints from the BJP and the Congress objecting to Bhana's parole granted a few days ago.

According to an official statement, Punjab's chief electoral officer has informed the deputy commissioner of Jalandhar about the EC's instructions.

"The Election Commission has directed that to ensure a smooth election process and in view of the complaints received, the parole of Daljit Singh Bhana should be cancelled until the completion of the Jalandhar West by-election process," it said.

The BJP and the Congress had raised concerns over Bhana's release, alleging that the move was intended to intimidate voters. The parties alleged that the gangster was campaigning for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Jalandhar West segment and also claimed that he might have been granted parole to capture booths on polling day.

The Jalandhar West assembly seat fell vacant following the resignation of sitting AAP MP Sheetal Angural. The bypoll will be held from 7 am to 6 pm on July 10 and votes counted on July 13.