February 18, 2020 2:22:52 pm
Around three months before members of an Amritsar family took their own lives and named then city SSP Kultar Singh in the suicide note, then Punjab DGP A A Siddiqui had written a letter accusing the police officer of large scale corruption. The DGP’s letter against Kultar Singh was written to then principal secretary of the Punjab Home Department S K Sinha.
But despite this letter on record and abetment to suicide case probe pending against him, Kultar Singh got the President’s award in 2006.
Kultar Singh was named along with four others in suicide notes left behind by Hardip Singh, whose family committed mass suicide in end of October 2004. He was among those convicted Monday by an Amritsar court for abetment to suicide.
Kultar had allegedly received Rs five lakh in bribe and demanded Rs seven lakh more from Hardeep Singh to settle a murder case. Hardeep named Kultar Singh in his suicide note.
In his letter, the DGP wrote, “It has been reliably learnt that SSP Kultar Singh indulged in large-scale corruption. Many of the gazetted officers posted in Amritsar are also indulging in same kind of corruption and land grabbing with his blessings. SHO and incharge of police posts give money to SSP every month after collecting it from the bad elements.”
The letter also named a PPS officer who was allegedly conducting probes into cases where accused or suspects were rich persons. It was alleged in the letter that the said officer was collecting money and giving share to Kultar Singh.
Letter also said that traffic incharges gave “money to SSP Amritsar every month after collecting same from transporters and union presidents”. It accused Kultar Singh of taking Rs 12 lakh through high-profile politicians, whose names are mentioned in letter, to settle the dispute over land of Ram Tirth.
Concluding his letter, Siddiqui said, “It is recommended that he should be transferred to avoid any further embarrassment.” While Kultar Singh remained SSP Amritsar from to 2003 to December 2004, he got a promotion and retired as DIG in 2006.
However, what was most disturbing that then new DGP SSP Virk ignored the letter written by Siddiqui, who had retired on January 31, 2005. Virk, who followed Siddiqui as DGP, overlooked Kultar Singh’s role in the suicide case and recommend his name to Punjab government for presidential award that was conferred to him in 2005.
Human Rights Activist Sarabjit Singh Verka, who became party in case in 2009, said: “Then Director Vigilance, Punjab Police, Sumedh Saini visited Punjab Human Rights Organisation office in Chandigarh in 2010 to convince us to take back the case against Kultar Singh. Same year, then SSP, Vigilance, Amritsar Sukhdev Singh visited my office in Amritsar. I was also summoned at Chandigarh by Punjab Police officers then DIG Narinder Pal Singh and IG R S Brar. Kultar Singh himself was present in that meeting held in office of DIG Narinder Pal Singh in 2010. In that meeting too, I was pressurised to take the complaint back. We have proved all these meetings during the trail of case in court against Kultar Singh.” Sumedh Saini later become DGP Punjab police in 2012.
“It was surprising that the judicial file related to evidence against, Kultar Singh, and other accused also went missing from court record. Then SHO Hardev Singh had washed the walls of house where names of Kultar Singh and other accused were written. SHO Hardev Singh also got promotion despite the case against him was pending in court. It must be rare case where investigative officer Hardev Singh was convicted in the end. Hardev Singh also wanted to save Kultar Singh,” said Verka.
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