Jagir Kaur's resignation accepted



Chandigarh: A day after she was convicted and sentenced to five years' rigorous imprisonment for criminal conspiracy and other charges in the mysterious death of her daughter, the Punjab governor Saturday evening accepted the resignation of cabinet minister Jagir Kaur.

A state government spokesman said Saturday that Jagir Kaur, who held the portfolios of rural water supply and sanitation and defence services welfare, Saturday submitted her resignation to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the same was forwarded to Governor Shivraj Patil for its acceptance with immediate effect.

"Bibi Jagir Kaur resigned as cabinet minister on moral grounds following her conviction by a CBI special court," the spokesman said.

The court had Friday sentenced Jagir Kaur to five years rigorous imprisonment on counts of forcible abortion, wrongful confinement, abduction and criminal conspiracy.

However, the court cleared her of murder charge of her daughter Harpreet Kaur, 19, framed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Jagir Kaur was the lone woman minister in the Badal government.

She has been lodged in the Kapurthala central jail, 200 km from here.

Jagir Kaur's daughter Harpreet Kaur had died under mysterious circumstances April 20, 2000, following which she was cremated hastily by the family members. There was no post-mortem conducted. The Badal government was in power at that time as well.

Harpreet had angered her mother and other family members by secretly marrying a youth, Kamaljit Singh, who belonged to a lower caste. Kamaljit belonged to Begowal village in Kapurthala district where Jagir Kaur heads a cash-rich Dera (sect).

Jagir Kaur, who is a powerful politician in Punjab and considered close to the chief minister, was inducted as a cabinet minister March 14.

IANS