A day after Punjab’s DGP (HRD) Siddharth Chattopadhyay put state police chief Suresh Arora and DGP (Intelligence) Dinkar Gupta in the dock by taking their names in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in connection with a drug-trafficking case, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday sought a detailed report on the case. The CM constituted a three-member panel headed by his Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar and comprising Home Secretary N S Kalsi and DGP Suresh Arora and asked them to submit a detailed report on the case.
Amarinder held a long meeting with Kumar, Kalsi and Arora at his residence here. Highly placed sources said the CM told Arora to deal with “this revolt with an iron hand” and stated that “indiscipline in the police force shall not be tolerated”.
Sources said the government was also considering disciplinary action against Chattopadhyay because the CM had expressed his strong displeasure over Chattopadhyay’s action, terming it as an embarrassment not only for the police force but the entire state government.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday had stayed proceedings against Chattopadhyaya in the Inderpreet Singh Chadha suicide case after he told the court that the role of Arora and Gupta had surfaced in the ongoing SIT probe against dismissed police officer Inderjit Singh and SSP Moga Raj Jit Singh in a drug trafficking case, and now the attempts were being made to implicate Chattopadhyay in the suicide case at the behest of Arora and Gupta.
Later in the evening, Chief Minister’s Office also released a statement in this regard. “Chief Minister was of the view that any grievance by any member of the police force, including those against colleagues, should be routed through the well-established administrative procedures and channels laid down for the purpose.”
The statement did not mention anything about the High Court case. However, it stated that Chief Minister took serious note of media reports suggesting dissension among the top brass of the Punjab Police.
The Chief Minister said that as a former member of a uniformed force, he was of the opinion that any act of indiscipline was a matter of grave concern, to be treated with seriousness. The 80,000-strong Punjab Police force naturally looked up to its senior officers for leadership and direction, he said, adding that “internal discord or friction could seriously undermine its professional and operational capabilities”.
The Chief Minister also directed Kalsi and Arora to ensure that all investigations in the drugs cases were carried out impartially, without any fear or favour.