The Mohali Police has booked Punjab Police IG Gautam Cheema, suspended defence accounts officer Ajay Chaudhary and two others for allegedly abducting an arrested proclaimed offender from the Phase 1 police station on Tuesday night, and then thrashing him in front of the wife of his co-accused in a nearby hospital. Cheema is at present posted as IG (Information Technology and Telecommunications) at Chandigarh.
They were booked for trespass, voluntarily causing hurt, abduction, wrongful confinement, obstructing public servant in discharge of duty, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy.
The FIR was registered at the Phase 1 police station on the complaint of ASI Dilbagh Singh, who was the duty officer on Tuesday. SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, while confirming the development, said, “The accused have not been arrested, Cheema is not at his house.”
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Cheema could not be reached for comment as his phone was switched off.
According to the FIR, at around 10.45 pm on Tuesday night, Head Constable Ramesh Kumar brought a suspect to the police station, who was later identified as Sumedh Gulati, a co-accused of Devinder Singh Gill alias Devinder Singh Thapa, a proclaimed offender in a case of fraud registered in March.
“ASI Dilbagh was questioning Gulati when around 11pm, IG Cheema, who appeared to be drunk, came to the police station along with Ajay Chaudhary and two unidentified persons in a private vehicle. He identified himself and said he wanted to take away Gulati. Despite being told by the ASI that Gulati was a PO, Cheema forcibly took him away, dumped him in his car, and sped off,” said the FIR. The Mohali police followed him in a car and traced Cheema to room 2202 of Max Hospital in Phase 6, where Devinder’s wife Kricspy was admitted after she had allegedly attempted suicide due to harassment by Cheema.
“According to eye-witnesses, Cheema forcibly took Gulati to Kricspy’s room, slapped him several times and threatened him. He also threatened Kricspy to withdraw her complaints against him (Cheema) or she would face dire consequences,” the FIR said.
Kricspy has lodged several complaints against Cheema, including one that he had molested her in March, for which the Vigilance Bureau is conducting an inquiry, as is the Mohali police. ASI Dilbagh then took Gulati into custody and brought him back to the police station.
Sources said that the police went to Cheema’s residence in Sector 8 but found that he had left the town. Ajay Chaudhary, the other accused, is a resident of Ambala and is currently absconding.
Meanwhile, in the FIR, Cheema is repeatedly mentioned as ‘Shri Gautam Cheema IG Sahib’, although in common practice, the name of the accused do not carry honorifics, titles or the desgination.