THE CONTROVERSIAL Punjab Superintendent of Police (SP) Salwinder Singh, questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after his car was allegedly used by the terrorists who attacked the Pathankot airbase, not only faces allegations of sexual harassment, but had been chargesheeted twice in different cases last year.
Salwinder had even submitted detailed replies to the chargesheets, served to him in July and November, but an unconvinced Punjab government has decided to probe the allegations and has appointed inquiry officers in the cases.
While additional district and sessions judge B C Gupta (retd) has been appointed to probe the allegations against Salwinder in the chargesheet issued to him on November 24, 2015, retired IAS officer R C Nayyar will probe the allegations in the chargesheet issued to the SP on July 7, 2015.
The November chargesheet relates to Salwinder having reopened investigations in a embezzlement case dating back to February 2013, despite a challan having been filed in court and the accused, a rice mill owner, having been declared a proclaimed offender. The SP was accused of attempting to aid the accused through re-opening of investigations.
The case related to embezzlement of paddy worth about Rs 5 crore, allegedly by the owner of Jagmohan Enterprises Rice Mill, Jagmohan Singh. The challan was presented in court on December 17, 2013.
On a complaint by Jagmohan’s wife, Salwinder conducted another inquiry on September 15, 2014. In his reply to the chargesheet, Salwinder claimed he had reopened the investigation on orders of the Gurdaspur SSP. He denied the charges that it was aimed at benefitting the accused. “The report submitted by me has been misinterpreted,” the SP has said in his reply.
The chargesheet had also accused him of writing to a senior official at Chandigarh and seeking the transfer of a head constable. The letter was allegedly written “without informing or seeking permission” from the Gurdaspur SSP. Salwinder has denied writing the letter too.
As for the July chargesheet, the SP was accused of being “absent” from duty between March 9, 2012, and April 9, 2012, and between April 18, 2012, and April 24, 2012. Salwinder has maintained that he “never remained absent from duty without permission”.
The SP, meanwhile, has reportedly joined duty with the Punjab Armed Police Battalion in Jalandhar, where he was shifted pending an inquiry, following allegations of sexual harassment by as many as five policewomen.
A woman from Tanda has also levelled allegations against the SP, claiming to be his wife and accusing him of having deserted her.