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Do cops need policing? Graft charges against Chandigarh cops worry seniors

At least six FIRs under the Prevention of Corruption Act have been registered against UT police personnel in the last one and half years.

Written by Saurabh Prashar | Chandigarh | December 1, 2020 8:34:41 am
There are numerous complaints being investigated against police officers. (Express Photo/File)

Charges of graft against some UT police personnel last week have once again put the focus on the black sheep in the force. At least six FIRs under the Prevention of Corruption Act have been registered against UT police personnel in the last one and half years.

Besides these six FIRs, there are numerous complaints being investigated against police officers. Two allegations of corruption against UT police officers, including personnel of Operations Cell and Crime branch, in quick succession have raised serious concern among senior officers.

Inspector Ranjeet Singh, in-charge of Operations Cell, was transferred to Police Lines-26 following a complaint about him accepting Rs 2 lakh from a liquor contractor, on November 26. On Sunday, police officers in plain clothes and uniform, were captured in CCTV footage demanding Rs 96,000 from Suresh Kumar, claiming that they are from the crime branch.

“The two developments have put Chandigarh Police in the dock. Both the wings– the Operations Cell and the Crime branch– are tasked with curbing organised crime in the city, and are kept away from the routine law and order duties,” said sources.

“A probe has begun. Once I receive the report, the culprits will not be spared,” said SP Manoj Kumar Meena. Sources maintained that the policemen in the CCTV footage have been identified. DSP (crime) Rajeev Ambasta, who supervises the crime branch, was not available for comments.

On March 8, six police personnel along with a former officer, who was posted as the incharge of salary branch of UT police, were transferred to Police Lines-26 after being indicted in a fact-finding probe pertaining to embezzlement of government funds in the salary accounts of 40 police personnel.

On June 17, three policemen stationed at PS Maloya were booked and one middleman arrested for demanding Rs 14,000 from a man for not registering an FIR for possessing narcotics against him.

On June 29, former SHO PS Mani Majra, Inspector Jaswinder Kaur, was booked and one Bhagwan Singh was arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 3 lakh for not lodging an FIR of cheating, forgery against a resident of Mani Majra, Gurdeep Singh. Kaur was later arrested.

According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), in 2019 Chandigarh was ranked on top for criminal cases registered against police personnel among all the UTs including the national capital.

FIRs against police personnel were registered for various reasons including escape of undertrial from the police custody, road accidents, under Prevention of Corruption Act and other miscellaneous offences. As many as 13 cops were arrested in connection with 12 FIRs.

More liquor contractors to record statements with UT police

Several liquor contractors approached the Chandigarh Police for recording their statements, alleging that they have also been harassed for money by police personnel.

These statements will be recorded by an IPS rank officer. Sources said their statements will be recorded in connection with FIRs previously registered against Crime Branch personnel.

“We have decided to record the statements of these liquor contractors in order to gather more evidence. The complainant Suresh, who lodged an FIR alleging extortion of Rs 96,000 from him, is stated to be the owner of eight liquor vends in Chandigarh,” said a senior police officer.

Contractor Suresh has also submitted the CCTV footage which is being scrutinised.

The Crime Branch comprises almost 80 police personnel including constables, head constables, ASIs, SIs and Inspector rank officers. An inspector is in-charge of crime branch, who is supervised by a DSP, who is in turn supervised by an IPS officer. — Express News Service

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