July 12, 2020 3:21:00 pm
Two retired inspectors of Chandigarh Police who are co-accused in a 29-year-old abduction case have claimed that a dismissed policemen, who is also a prime witness in the case, “lured” them into giving a statement against former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini at the behest of Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, a political advisor to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
The Punjab Police, in a case registered at Mohali’s Mataur police station on May 6, had booked Saini and others in connection with the disappearance of Balwant Singh Multani, who was then a junior engineer with the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation, in 1991. Multani, the son of retired officer IAS officer DS Multani, had been picked up in connection with a terrorist attack on Saini, then Chandigarh SSP. Multani continues to remain missing and his family suspects he was eliminated.
In a complaint submitted to Pubjab DGP Dinkar Gupta, retired inspectors, Anokh Singh and Jagir Singh, have claimed that they were lured into giving a statement against Saini by dismissed Punjab Police official Gurmeet Singh Pinky at the behest of Chahal for “taking revenge” from Saini who had booked him when he was heading the Vigilance Bureau in the past.
Pinky is a key witness in the case. His interview to a news channel in 2015 in connection with alleged torture of Multani at the hands of Saini was referred to by the police while registering the case.
In the complaint with attached audio recordings of their purported conversation with Pinky at his farmhouse on June 3 and June 9, the two retired police officials alleged that as per Pinky: “Chahal is inimical to Saini and is determined to arrest him in one case or the other.”
They further alleged that Pinky told them that “since we were not the targets, we should give statements against Saini, because revenge has to be taken from him only and we have just been made scapegoats….Since we were not the targets, we should join hands with Chahal and get our children enlisted as Sub Inspectors.”
The retired inspectors also alleged that Pinky assured that he would arrange their meeting with Chahal whenever they wanted for “finalizing the line of action”.
Anokh Singh and Jagir Singh also alleged that Pinky told them that “retired SSPs Surjeet Singh Grewal and Shiv Kumar were proceeded against in a similar revengeful manner.”
Referring to audio recording attached with the complaint, they alleged, “The impression which Pinky gave that he is directing and organising the enitre investigation on behalf of Chahal.”
“He (Pinky) repeatedly states that he could call SP Harmandeep Singh Hans whenever we want for a meeting in furtherance of the line suggested by Pinky, and that the SP would do as told,” Anokh and Jagir said in a written complaint while referring to audio recordings.
Calling it a “revengeful and malafide investigation” and “not based on any facts or law but on the whims and fancies of the political masters who have their own scores to settle,” the ex-UT cops requested Punjab DGP to “rectify the gross injustice and illegalities which have been committed, apart from taking the requisite legal action against the various defaulters.”
When contacted, Chahal said, “I do not know anything about this. I do not know Pinky. I don’t know who Pinky is.”
Pinky termed the allegations as ridiculous. “This is (being alleged) because the case against them has been registered on my statement,” he said.
Pinky said one of the two policemen had a land adjoining his farm in Landran. “Main na ona nu sadya na bulaya (I did not call them at my place),” sid Pinky, adding that they came to him and “threatened me since I am complainant. I will get a case registered against them”.
Asked about the audio recording and his purported statements in that, Pinky said they may have had a recording device “in the pocket”. He also said that there was “cutting” in the audio recording. “I had also asked them where was the dead body [of Multani] was thrown,” Pinky said.
Asked about his purported reference to Chahal in the audio recording, Pinky said, “I have not met anyone. Apni marji naal tape kar layi kise di permission ni koyee (They recorded without permission. That is not my voice in the recording.”
The case at Matour police station was registered on the complaint of Balwant’s brother, Palwinder Singh Multani. Apart from Saini, six other police officers, who served in the ranks of DSP and Sub-Inspector at that time, and an unknown person have also been booked in the case registered under Sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days), 330 (voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession, or to compel restoration of property), 219 (public servant in judicial proceeding corruptly making report, etc., contrary to law) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
Terming as “pre- mature”, a Mohali court Friday dismissed the interim bail granted to Saini that he had secured in anticipation of murder charge being added to the FIR against him at Matour police station. The court, however, also granted relief to the former DGP directing the the police to give him three-day notice before adding murder or other criminal charges in the FIR.
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