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Chandigarh police in 2021: Conmen, challans and promotions

Although the brutal second wave of COVID-19 dominated the first five months of 2021, the withdrawal of restrictions coupled with the pandemic related job loss led to a spike in petty crime in Chandigarh.

Written by Saurabh Prashar | Chandigarh |
December 31, 2021 10:38:02 am
Chandigarh police Yearender 2021 (Representational/File)

The infamous property grab case

This case is related to a seven marla property of one Rahul Mehta, who was allegedly kidnapped, given drugs and left abandoned in a shelter home in Gujrat following a well-planned conspiracy. Chandigarh police acted on a complaint received from one Pardeep Rattan, who had been once a tenant of Rahul Mehta. The two first arrests were of a former scribe, Sanjeev Mahajan, and one builder, Manish Gupta. This was followed by the arrests of a police inspector Rajdeep Singh, liquor baron Arvind Singla, brother of a serving DSP of UT police, Satpal Dagar, builder Saurabh Gupta, the proxy of victim Rahul Mehta, Gurpreet Singh and others. Although a few of the suspects including Manish Gupta, Satapl Dagar were released on bail, Sanjeev Mahajan, Inspector Rajdeep Singh, who is now suspended, are still lodged in Model Burail Jail. Though liquor baron Arvind Singla, was granted bail in the case from Punjab and Haryana high court, he is also lodged in the jail due to another cheating case against him. Chandigarh police had requested the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to investigate the money trail of accused Sanjeev Mahajan and others. A total of nine properties including movable and immovable were found linked to Mahajan. Victim Rahul Mehta is still under the close watch/care of Chandigarh police.

The arrest of the notorious Ram Lal Chaudhary

Ram Lal Chaudhary, 65, a controversial property dealer and financer, who had been earlier arrested in at least 9 cases including attempt to murder, murder, rape, assault etc, was arrested for duping a Gurugram man, Atulya Sharma, of Rs 5 crore November 11. Police said there are other complaints against him for cheating people on the pretext of providing them relief from the judiciary. He has been working as a property dealer and financier for the general public. In 2002,Chaudhary had hit the headlines for his involvement in the infamous rape-on-wheel case in Chandigarh. A former bureaucrat of Haryana, who was posted in Chandigarh, had been also named in the FIR. All were acquitted in March, 2014.

The daring escape of bicycle thief from police lockup

Divesh Kumar Sharma, 27, an addict, arrested for stealing 13 bicycles, cocked a snook at cops and escaped from the police lock-up of PS 39 after bending two rusted iron grills with his bare hands on December 6. This escape showed the entire Chandigarh police in the poor light. The cycle thief was re-arrested when he returned after visiting many religious places in Punjab and Himachal on December 11. At least three policemen were suspended. And when cops re-arrested the cycle thief, they did not dare to put him in the lockup and preferred to send him to the Model Burail Jail.

Murder of PU professor’s wife

Seema Goyal, 60, wife of Prof BB Goyal, 59, of University Business School in Panjab University, was found murdered at her house in G block on the Diwali eve November 5. BB Goyal was on the first flloor of his house in the night when his wife was murdered on the ground floor. The G block is a posh locality in PU campus. Initially, the cops were hopeful of cracking the case soon but as the days passed, the mystery deepened. Though forensic reports suggest no forceful entry, cops are yet to make any conclusion. A plea of narco test of a suspect, who is the family member of victim Seema Goyal, was filed in a local court. The suspect gave his consent to go through the test. The case is still untraced.

House burglaries, thefts, involvement of domestic helps

More than 560 thefts including 100 house burglaries kept the cops on their toes. The involvement of domestic servants including a gang of Nepali servants linked to Mumbai-based ‘Chhota Rajan Gang ‘ remained in headlines throughout the year. Most of the burglaries involved domestic servants, who won the trust of their employers, and were not registered with the local police. The case that made headlines was that of Rinku Khan, 27, who had been staying at the place of a government doctor for more than 16 years, and escaped after drugging and looting his wife in Sector 19 in September. His doctor employer was stunned to know that Rinku, who had claimed to be an orphan, was a married father of two kids.

Cops caught on the wrong foot

Many cops were caught on the wrong side of law for procedural lapses while investigating cases. In two of such cases, affected people went to Punjab and Haryana high court forcing Chandigarh police to conduct a high-level probe. In one such incident, family of a man, who was picked up for questioning for firing at a home guard volunteer, filed a habeas corpus. Within hours, the suspect reached his house. Besides this, four crime branch personnel were shifted when negligence was established on their part while dealing with an NDPS case. A man was booked for snatching while he was already lodged in Model Burail Jail.

21 percent increase in traffic violations

Around 21 percent more challans were issued for various traffic violations during the last 12 months (2,23,324) compared to 2020 (1,76,619) in Chandigarh. Around 38 percent (88,152) of these challans were issued through CCTV cameras and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Speed Radars. Over 28 percent (64,202) of the traffic challans were issued for over speeding through the three Automatic Number Plate Recognisation (ANPR) Speed Radars, which are able to catch speeding vehicles from a distance of around 1km.

The creation of two new police sub divisions, District Crime Cell

Two new police sub divisions including South West and North East along with a District Crime Cell were created to strengthen the law and order situation in Chandigarh this year. The creation of two new sub divisions along with the District Crime Cell was among the many recommendations made by the Police Reforms Commission set up by the former UT Administrator, VP Singh Badnore.

Change of guard: DGP Praveer Ranjan takes over from DGP Sanjay Baniwal

A 1993 batch IPS officer of AGMUT cadre, Praveer Ranjan, took charge as DGP (UT), on August 19. Before coming to Chandigarh, Praveer Ranjan was Special CP, Crime, in Delhi police. Ranjan was also the incharge of SIT constituted for probing the North East Delhi riots. He had supervised the Red Fort violence January 26 and all cases related to farmer violence in Delhi. He was also part of the investigation of the famous Toolkit, which was reportedly shared by the teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, a case primarily investigated by the Special cell of Delhi police.

Creation of Reception Centres in all the police station

In a bid to change the perception about police and give a patient hearing to the general public, the police department decided to construct Reception Centres at all the police stations. The creation of reception centres was recommended by the Single member Police Reform Commission. Commission chairman, Kanwar Bahadur Singh (IPS Rtd). Besides thousands of discarded dump vehicles parked in police stations, traffic police lines etc are being shifted to IRB Sarangpur.

A promotion bonanza

2021 will remain special for at least 808 police personnel including 5 inspectors, who were promoted to the rank of DSP. These promotions were a dream come true for these cops as they had been waiting for many years due to procedural delays. The five police inspector who were promoted were Sri Parkash, Gurjeet Kaur, Dalbir Singh Bhinder, Jaswinder Kaur and Sukhwinder Singh. Besides them, 803 police personnel were also promoted in a single day. The promoted personnel included 112 cops, who were given regular promotions resulting in a jump in in their salaries, ranks and other financial benefits. 691 cops out of 803 were promoted on the pattern of Punjab Police after completion of 16, 24, and 30 years of police service.

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