A peculiar situation has arisen due to an order passed by ADGP (security) Dinkar Gupta and approved by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal — the Punjab police cannot bring its proclaimed offender (PO) Devinder Singh Gill alias Devinder Singh Thapa on production warrants from Haryana police.
Devinder — who allegedly conned several people, including senior Punjab IPS officers promising to give them farmhouses, plots and shops in his various projects without delivering anything in the end — has an FIR lodged against him in Mohali since March this year and was declared a PO in May. He was arrested by the Haryana police in a rape case on August 2. After a four-day police remand he was sent to judicial custody yesterday.
The Mohali police, where he is wanted, is however helpless because the ADGP ordered a stay on “any action” against the FIRs lodged against Devinder in Mohali and his partners in Kurali and Kharar.
“We will seek fresh directions from the ADGP in this regard. He is away in the US for training. Once he is back, and we get a go-ahead, we will move to get Devinder’s custody. However, nothing can be done till fresh directions are issued by the ADGP,” said SSP Mohali Inder Mohan Singh.
The complainants in the case are, however losing patience. “I got the FIR against Devinder lodged in March. Nothing has happened yet. The inquiry has been done, Devinder has been declared a PO but there is no move to arrest him,” said Yashpal Gupta, a Delhi-based businessman who had invested Rs 2 crore in Devinder’s farmhouse project.
The ADGP’s “stay orders” of June 16 (accessed by The Indian Express) came in the wake of a complaint lodged by Devinder’s wife Kricspy Khera that he was “beaten up” and “kidnapped” by a Punjab IPS officer and Ajay Chaudhry, a defence accounts officer who had invested in the project. Khera had met Sukhbir during his sangat darshan and alleged that Devinder had been duped by the police officers who invested in the project and false FIRs registered were against him.
Gupta asked Punjab VB to inquire into Khera’s allegations staying action in the FIRs till the completion of the VB probe. The ADGP’s order was approved by Sukhbir with a note that the VB give a report in 10 days. However, the inquiry has taken much longer and VB has now asked for another month to complete its work.
Khera, along with a handful of supporters, held a candlelight march in Sector 17 Plaza in Chandigarh this evening to protest against the Mohali police’s alleged inaction regarding her complaint.
While Khera has alleged that the VB is trying to protect the officers allegedly involved, the complainants too are awaiting the end of the VB inquiry.
“Everyone has an equal right to justice. While an inquiry could have been marked into the allegations levelled by the wife of the accused, how can a stay be given on action against the accused?” said Yashpal Gupta.
Other than Gupta, Y N Chaudhy, father of Ajay Chaudhry, lodged a complaint with the Mohali police then. “My father’s complaint was clubbed with Yashpal Gupta’s complaint but no FIR was lodged. The Punjab police seems to be protecting Devinder,” said Chaudhry.
Chaudhy added that another complaint about Devinder’s identity is being inquired into by Chandigarh police. “The Chandigarh police is taking prompt action just like the Haryana police did in arresting Devinder. However, the Punjab police is dragging its feet, showing more interest in allegations levelled by the wife of the accused than the cases of fraud,” said Chaudhry, adding that another a complaint by him against Devinder was pending with the Mohali police.
Both Cheema and Ajay have said there is no truth in Khera’s complaint. “The allegations talk about an incident in March and the complaint is filed in June. It is an afterthought with an intention of changing the focus of the investigation,” said Chaudhry.
ADGP Gupta could not be contacted for comments.