Four years after it hailed him for making the country proud by winning two gold medals in the World Police and Fire Games-2019 in China, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau Thursday arrested an assistant inspector general (AIG) of Punjab Police for taking a bribe of Rs 1 crore through separate cheques.
The money allegedly exchanged hands in 2018 when AIG Ashish Kapoor, currently posted as the commandant of the 4th Indian Reserve Battalion in Pathankot, was AIG Punjab Vigilance Bureau.
The Vigilance Bureau also booked DSP (Intelligence) Pawan Kumar and ASI Harjinder Singh as accused. They were posted at Zirakpur police station when the alleged bribery took place. HarjinderSingh too was arrested late Thursday evening.
A VB spokesperson said that during his posting as superintendent of Amritsar Central Jail in 2016, Ashish had got acquainted with a woman inmate — Poonam Rajan of Sector 30, Kurukshetra — who was under judicial remand with three relatives.
In 2018, Poonam was taken in police remand along with mother Prem Lata, brother Kuldeep Singh and sister-in-law Preeti in a cheating case at Zirakpur police station.
The spokesperson said Kapoor convinced Prem Lata he will arrange their bail and acquittal from the court. Kapoor, allegedly in connivance with Pawan Kumar, the then SHO of the Zirakpur police station and ASI Harjinder Singh, allegedly got Preeti declared innocent in the case.
The spokesperson said, in lieu of the “favour”, Kapoor, through ASI Harjinder Singh, obtained Prem Lata’s signature on multiple cheques totalling Rs 1 crore, and got them encashed in favour of some persons known to him.
The spokesperson said that a case had been registered against Kapoor and the other two officials under sections 7, 7-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 420, 120-B of the IPC.
Incidentally, in August 2019, the Vigilance Bureau had hailed Kapoor for winning two gold medals in the World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) held at Chengdu in China, while pointing out that Kapoor had achieved a feat of winning four gold medals consecutively in the games which are held every two years.
Hailing from Jalandhar, Kapoor joined the Punjab Police as Inspector in 1993. He subsequently served as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Punjab, apart from a stint as DSP in Union Territory of Chandigarh.
Kapoor faced allegations of rape and extortion leveled by a woman inmate who was lodged in Amritsar jail during his stint as Jail Superintendent there. His lawyer, Pardeep Virk, says the case is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Kapoor also served as AIG in Vigilance Bureau, investigating high profile cases, including multi-crore Punjab irrigation scam. Virk said the allegations of rape and extortion were leveled against Kapoor “one and a half years after his stint as Amritsar Jail Superintendent and when he was serving as AIG VB”.
On August 25, the vigilance sleuths took measurements of Kapoor’s residence in Mohali’s Sector 88, reportedly following allegations of disproportionate assets than the known sources of officer’s income.
In an official release in August 2019, the VB had said Kapoor won bronze in tennis singles at WPFG in Vancouver in 2009’ won a silver in New York Games – 2011; and clinched two gold medals in Belfast, Ireland (2013), Fairfax USA (2015) and 2017 Los Angeles USA WPFG games, which are held every two-years.
The spokesperson had added that Kapoor “has been All India Police Champion in tennis singles event for the last 15 years”.