PUNJAB CHIEF Minister Amarinder Singh has issued an order for the “premature retirement” of Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh, citing his “controversial conduct”, “indiscipline” and for “bringing (a) bad name to Punjab police.”
Salwinder, 54, made national news last year when he claimed that terrorists from the Jaish-e-Mohammed had captured his SUV to carry out the attack on the Pathankot airbase on January 2, 2016. Consequently, the officer was questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and put through a lie-detection test also before being given a clean chit.
Last Saturday, the Chief Minister signed on the order, which read: “Retire him prematurely”.
Sources said the order did not make it clear if the state’s Home department would give the officer a notice of three months or salary of three months in case he was to be relieved with immediate effect, which is mandatory as per the rules.
Salwinder was declared a proclaimed offender in a sexual abuse case before he surrendered in April. He has been named an accused in two criminal cases of sexual abuse and sexual harassment, respectively. Placed under suspension, Salwinder is lodged in Amritsar Central Jail.
Punjab DGP Suresh Arora had recommended premature retirement for Salwinder, citing a list of incidents of misconduct, indiscipline, and criminal cases against him.
Last January, Salwinder had claimed that his SUV was waylaid by the terrorists on the new year’s eve of 2016, when he was travelling in the vehicle along with his cook and a friend. He claimed that he and his cook were thrown out of the car by the terrorists who reached near the airbase with his friend as a hostage.
According to police, the terrorists slit the friend Rajesh Verma’s throat and headed for the airbase to carry out the attack on the intervening night of January 1. Verma survived the attack.
Salwinder was named an accused in a sexual harassment case in October 2016 after some policewomen filed a complaint against him. A departmental inquiry was ordered before a case was registered.
He was booked in another case related to sexual harassment in August last year. The complainant had accused him of accepting Rs 50,000 for deleting his name from a rape case. Another complaint of sexual harassment was made against him when he served as an ASI in Punjab Police Academy at Phillaur.
Salwinder had recently sought enhancement in salary during his suspension period from 50 to 70 per cent.