Even as a hunt is on to arrest suspended assistant sub-inspector Hardev Singh who was booked on Monday for demanding a bribe of Rs 4.7 lakh from a Ferozepur villager for not implicating his son a drugs case, sources say that in April alone, four such cases have been filed against police officers in Sangrur, Bathinda and Ludhiana. Two of them are still at large.
Hardev Singh, who was in charge of anti-narcotics cell, had allegedly kept one Lovepreet Singh of Mallanwala village in illegal police custody for four days and threatened his family that he would book Lovepreet for drug-peddling if they did not pay Rs 10 lakh.
Lovepreet was finally let off allegedly after a payment of Rs 4.7 lakh. However, the family complained to IG (Bathinda range) Mukhwinder Singh Chhina after which Hardev Singh was booked for graft case.
“Whenever there is a massive drive, some bad elements in the system try to reap benefits out of it. The ASI in question was trying to add numbers and hence he not only troubled the villagers, but also took a bribe. So we took stern action against him. Our teams are on the job to arrest him. Already, he has been put under suspension,” Chhina said.
In Sangrur, ASIs Baljinder Singh Chatha and Balkar Singh have been booked for taking a bribe of Rs 2.5 lakh from the family of Rajasthan policeman Kanhiya Lal, who is currently lodged in a Punjab jail in a drugs case.
After the two ASIs allegedly demanded a bribe from his family to let him off, the latter reported the matter to SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu who ordered that the duo be booked for graft.
Sidhu said, “This is the second case against Baljinder Singh Chhatha, who was earlier booked for extorting money from farmers who were called for questioning in connection with murder of a financier.”
In Ludhiana, a policeman was arrested with drugs from Ladhowal village.