July 22, 2009

Jassi Khnagura Warns Against Misuse of Chandigarh International Airport

Shri N R Das

Director General

Central Industrial Security Force

OPS Block 13

CGO Complex

Lodhi Road

New Delhi 110003

Dear Sir

With international flights due to start from Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport, Chandigarh, I wish to express my concern that they may be used as a vehicle to spirit away sizeable sums of black money accumulated by the ruling political alliance partners and others in Punjab.

It is a sad fact that Punjab remains one of the most corrupt states in the country. That the current Punjab administration has broken all corruption records surprises no one. It is common knowledge that corruption permeates every part of the administration, channeling to Chandigarh from tributaries reaching every city, town and village.

That much of this cash ends up being invested overseas is an open secret.

I would therefore suggest that there is a clear requirement to ensure that all checked in baggage on these flights is thoroughly searched.

The CISF at Chandigarh Airport must start planning how they will ensure adequate measures are implemented to prevent the smuggling of cash, before international flights start.

This is a serious issue as the hawala trade, along with that of drugs and land grabs, enjoys political patronage in Punjab. Frequent seizures of cash at major international airports in this country strongly suggest that Chandigarh may be no different.

Chandigarh will also be used by private jets, some of which are owned by companies having a close association with the ruling alliance in Punjab, and particularly with the ruling family. Under no circumstances should these private aircrafts be exempt from your exhaustive search procedures.

Whilst everybody is keenly anticipating the start of international flights from Chandigarh, I trust that you will act on the above to deny the politicians and the hawala operators an additional route.

Yours sincerely

Jassi Khangura, MLA

Qila Raipur, Ludhiana

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