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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Drug smuggler in STF net makes startling allegations against senior Punjab cops

These officers also include an IPS officer who is already booked in other cases, mostly related to violation of human rights. This is the second time this IPS officer’s name has come up during investigation into a drug smuggling case.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
March 15, 2021 4:40:16 am
Gurdeep Singh (Second from the right)

THE SPECIAL Task Force (STF) of Punjab Police has been awaiting further action from the offices of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta against police officials, politicians and civilians whose names cropped up during investigation in a drug smuggling case.

The Indian Express has information about the STF report, according to which drug smuggler and former sarpanch Gurdeep Singh has made several allegations against four Punjab police officers. These officers also include an IPS officer who is already booked in other cases, mostly related to violation of human rights. This is the second time this IPS officer’s name has come up during investigation into a drug smuggling case.

The IPS officer in question could not be reached for comment.

Gurdeep Singh has alleged that he was not only dealing with these police officers financially, but also facilitating ‘visits by girls’ to the IPS officer. He also allegedly provided details of financial transactions and hotels in his statement. STF is seeking action on the same report.

The letter, dated December 2, 2020, from the office of additional director general of police, Special Task Force, Punjab, to director general of police, Punjab, chief principal secretary and chief minister, reads: “During the course of investigation into FIR dated November 6, 2020 under sections 21/23/25/2,A, 29/61/85 NDPS Act 25/54/S9 Arms Act, 420/471/472 IPC at police station STF Phase-4, SAS Nagar, various details of corruption and illegalities by police officers/officials and civilians including politicians have come to the notice of the investigating officer. The interim report is enclosed herewith for further necessary action…”

The case

In November last year, the anti-drug STF had arrested four persons, including a former sarpanch of Rano village in Ludhiana, Gurdeep Singh, recovering 5.39 kg heroin along with Rs 21 lakh ‘drug money’ near Jagraon. Police had said that a fleet of luxury cars and three weapons were also recovered from them. The seized heroin was worth around Rs 26 crore in the international market. The drug network was allegedly being run from Australia.

STF report on links between drug smuggler and IPS officer

During questioning, Gurdeep Singh allegedly said that Hardeep Singh alias Deepa of Dehkra village, Ludhiana, was his friend.

Hardeep introduced Gurdeep to a Punjabi artiste, who further introduced Gurdeep to the IPS officer, who was then posted in Ludhiana range. As arranged by the artiste, the IPS officer attended as chief guest a kabbadi tournament organised by Gurdeep Singh, who allegedly used to bear the expenses of the IPS officer for such functions.

The IPS officer also allegedly helped Gurdeep Singh take possession of four kanals of land behind Apollo Hospital in Ludhiana along with two others. The IPS officer allegedly called up police officer in Ludhiana, after which they constructed a wall around the land. They still have possession of the land.

Gurdeep Singh alleged that the officer also accepted a bribe for resolving a land dispute between a woman and her sons.
The report says Gurdeep also gave details about hotels and bills to prove that he had facilitated the meeting of the officer with women in Ludhiana and Chandigarh.

STF on Varinderjit Thind

According to the report, Gurdeep Singh admitted that he was president of the youth wing of a political party in 2015-16.

Varinderjit Singh Thind was posted as DSP Payal in Khanna district and Gurdeep Singh would often meet him. Both developed close relations and started visiting each other’s homes. Gurdeep Singh alleged that he spent Rs 10 lakh on the wedding of Varinderjit Singh’s brother, and claimed the cop would often use his car. He further alleged that Varinderjit invested Rs 15 lakh in his liquor vend business in 2014-15, and received a handsome profit in a year. Later, he invested Rs 10 lakh in another beer bar in a village.

In September 2020, Gurdeep Singh alleged that he paid Varinderjit a bribe for intervention in a dispute he had with another man over a car.

The report says Varinderjit invested Rs 15 lakh in the liquor vend business of Gurdeep Singh and then invested Rs 10 lakh in the beer bar without permission from the police department.

This is also mentioned in entries made in the diary recovered from Gurdeep Singh.

The report mentions that Varinderjit allegedly provided a gunman to Gurdeep Singh without permission from any senior officer and on finding that Gurdeep Singh was involved in drug smuggling, he took no action nor brought it to the notice of any senior officer.

When contacted about these allegations, Varinderjit Thind said, “STF can respond to it. I have explained my part to STF and they have verified it. I can’t make any more comments on it.”

STF report on Seva Singh Mali, PPS, SP(D) Faridkot

Gurdeep Singh claimed during questioning that he had a dispute over liquor vends with one Gurkirat Singh in 2020. One Seva Singh Mali had made both parties reach a compromise, for which he accepted Rs 2 lakh.

Responding to the allegations, Mali said, “I had appeared before the STF and explained my side. I didn’t accept any money from the Gurdeep Singh. An inquiry was marked to me regarding a dispute between liquor venders and it was resolved with a compromise between both sides. Gurdeep Singh was one of the parties. Dispute was settled with payment of Rs 24 lakh to Gurdeep Singh. Gurdeep
Singh had invested around Rs 50 lakh in liquor vends in Kotakpura in partnership with another party. STF was probing this
compromise because it is suspected that Gurdeep Singh had invested drug money in the liquor vend business in Kotakpura. I had recorded my statement with STF.”

STF report on Parminder Singh Bath, PPS, DSP

Gurdeep Singh claimed that he was into the real estate business in 2010-11 in Khanna and Parminder Singh Bath was SHO at Khanna City police station at the time. Parminder Singh invested Rs 8 lakh in Gurdeep Singh’s liquor vend business in 2012-13. He kept his investment for two years and Gurdeep Singh paid him a Rs 4 lakh profit. But then Parminder Singh started demanding his money back after losses in the business. Gurdeep Singh returned the money in installments and Rs 1 lakh is still pending.

Parminder Singh’s statement was also recorded during this investigation and he admitted to investing money into the liquor vend business of Gurdeep Singh. Gurdeep Singh paid him a profit for two years but returned the pending amount in delayed installments with Rs 1 lakh is still pending.

When contacted, he said, “Gurdeep Singh had become known to me during my posting at Khanna. I lost touch with him as soon as I got transferred. It was not my own money but of some known persons, who had invested in the liquor vend business of Gurdeep Singh. I had nothing to do with that money. I had told the STF everything about it.”

Authorities say

With reference to the letter written by ADGP STF, The Indian Express sent queries to the office of Additional Chief Secretary Home Anurag Aggarwal, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta, ADGP Public Relations & New Age Media A S Rai and ADGP STF B Chandra Sekhar, regarding action taken in light of these allegations.

In response, ADGP STF B Chandra Sekhar said, “Please contact DG office in this regard.”

Asked if the IPS officer whose name had cropped up in the drug smuggling case, had been questioned by STF regarding the allegations made by Gurdeep Singh, B Chandra Sekhar responded, “Not yet.”

Offices of additional home secretary and DGP didn’t respond to the queries.

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