MORE THAN one-and-a-half years after a DSP-level officer was recommended for suspension for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 40 lakh in a rape case, the Haryana government suspended him on Thursday. The case pertaining to the Chandimandir area of Panchkula was then known as honeytrap as the rape allegations were later found to be baseless. The officer, Desh Bandhu, is currently posted as DSP of Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited (HVPNL). However, he was posted as Panchkula ACP when the alleged incident took place in 2015.
The government has not explained why the DSP has been suspended but official sources confirmed that the officer was placed under suspension in connection with the same bribery case.
“During the period of suspension of the then ACP, Panchkula, his headquarters would be in the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Panchkula,” said an official spokesperson on Thursday.
A Panchkula woman had alleged that she was raped by an Ambala resident on May 22, 2015. But, it was said that the efforts were made to “settle the case”. It was also alleged that the ACP had demanded a bribe of Rs 40 lakh to shield the accused in the case.
After two inquiries by two DCPs, then Ambala-Panchkula Commissioner of Police O P Singh recommended Desh Bandhu’s suspension. “It is recommended that ACP Desh Bandhu may be placed under suspension and a regular departmental inquiry be initiated against him for his brazen attempt to extort money from the accused in the case,” said Singh in a report sent to the state DGP.
The first inquiry conducted by the DCP (Rural), Ambala, based on the call details and locations, hinted that “the ACP was in touch with the accused through his touts and spent about an hour and 18 minutes with him before demanding a bribe of Rs 40 lakh for saving him in the rape case”.
“When the ACP failed to get the demanded bribe, he ‘verified the rape case as true’ on June 4, 2015,” mentioned the inquiry report. Another probe conducted by the DCP (Crime), Ambala-Panchkula, also indicted the ACP. “The ACP, through his tout (name withheld) and ASI Ramesh Kumar, in charge of the Ramgarh police post, demanded a bribe of Rs 40 lakh from the accused and his brother. The verification by the ACP is a deliberate attempt to frame the accused wrongly,” stated the inquiry report.
“I was framed in a false case. I was targeted because I had lodged corruption-related complaints against OP Singh (the then Ambala-Panchkula CP). No action was taken on my complaints but I was framed in a false case,” said Desh Bandhu on Thursday.
“I approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court to seek action against the then CP. About a week back, the High Court issued a notice to the government, asking about the action taken against the CP. Probably that’s why they (government) have suspended me,” Desh Bandhu added.