Booking a chemist for ‘illegally’ storing and selling habit-forming drugs from his house and then taking a U-turn from the stance to ensure his ‘discharge’ from the jail, has brought the senior officials of Bathinda Police under scanner
Bathinda SSP Naveen Singla approved the DSP Gurjeet Singh Romana’s FIR cancellation report for submitting in the court of law. The development came as a shock for the woman sub-inspector, who had registered the case.
The incident caused a major dent to the image of the district police chief Naveen Singla. It is for what the IGP decided to hand over the investigation to Faridkot SSP Nanak Singh, who is otherwise two years junior to Singla.
It is learnt that the state’s prestigious Special Task Force (STF) chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu wanted the case to be sent to the STF headquarters at Chandigarh for the detailed probe but Bathinda IG assured him to get a free and fair probe conducted at the zonal level.The report, which is being prepared by Faridkot SP (Investigation) Sewa Singh, is now almost ready and the Faridkot police are likely to submit it to the IGP (Bathinda zone) on Monday.
Bathinda police are in news these days, obviously not for any good reason.
Booking a chemist for ‘illegally’ storing and selling habit-forming drugs from his house and then taking a U-turn from the stance within a week to ensure his ‘discharge’ from the jail, has come as a major trouble for the senior officials of the district police.
The unfolding of layers has exposed how a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) attempted to shield the accused whom his junior— a female Sub Inspector— had booked under the NDPS Act only after obtaining his consent.
Interestingly, when the DSP launched ‘rescue operation’, he didn’t even bother to make the same lady officer join the proceedings. Not enough, Bathinda SSP without even bothering to ascertain the reason for ignoring the sub-inspector’s version, straightaway approved the FIR cancellation report prepared by the DSP.
Timely action exposed nasty things
However, it was a timely pressed panic button that made the Inspector General of Police (Bathinda range) MS Chhina to intervene into the matter. Though the senior police officials claim that they haven’t filed the cancellation report in the court of law, it is learnt that acting upon the basis of the police version only the court discharged the accused.The incident caused a major dent to the image of the district police chief Naveen Singla. It is for what the IGP decided to hand over the investigation to Faridkot SSP Nanak Singh, who is otherwise two years junior to Singla.
It is learnt that the state’s prestigious Special Task Force (STF) chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu wanted the case to be sent to the STF headquarters at Chandigarh for the detailed probe but Bathinda IG assured him to get a free and fair probe conducted at the zonal level.
The report, which is being prepared by Faridkot SP (Investigation) Sewa Singh, is now almost ready and the Faridkot police are likely to submit it to the IGP (Bathinda zone) on Monday.
Know the case
According to information, Sukhwinder Kaur, a sub-inspector posted at Nehianwala police station, acting upon a tip-off conducted a raid at the residential premises of one chemist Gobind Gupta on April 10, this year.During the search, police recovered 1,530 tablets of three different habit forming drugs. On his failure to produce the mandatory sale-purchase records, police seized the material and arrested the person in question, in the presence of Bathinda drug inspector Sheshan Mittal. A case against him was registered under the NDPS Act.
However, within a week Bhucho DSP Gurjit Singh Romana, under whose jurisdiction the police station falls, prepared the cancellation report, quoting the drug inspector stating that the accused was a registered chemist and had a valid licence to sale purchase such medicines. Bathinda SSP Naveen Singla also approved it for submitting in the court of law. However, the development came as a shock for the woman sub-inspector, who had registered the case. The matter reached the Bathinda zone IGP, who was also apprised of the fact that while preparing the cancellation report the senior officers didn’t even bother to make her join the proceeding.
Female cop firm on her stand
“I was asked to appear before the DSP Gurjit Singh Romana on April 19 but when I reached there, I was categorically said that the investigation had been completed and the cancellation report was prepared, which shocked me,” Sukhwinder Kaur told Daily Post.
Firm on her stand, the female police officer further said: “The objectionable medicines were stored at Gupta’s residence, which is an offence. I consulted the whole matter with my seniors, including DSP Gurjit Singh Romana and only after getting consent, I proceeded further.”
Sukhwinder Kaur has submitted her version to Faridkot Police on May 22.
DSP justifies his act
Asked, Romana replied: “Staff from police stations seeks consent on a routine basis. In that case, I would have been asked for, so acting on the prima facie report, it was my duty to ask them to go ahead. But later, when the SSP asked me to investigate, I found the registration of case unreasonable.”
“Before preparing cancellation report, I sought a written report from the drug inspector who verified that the person in question was a registered chemist and had valid licence to sell such drugs,” maintained Romana.
About the place of (seizure) occurrence, which was shown a residential premise, Romana said: “The shop and house are located at same place.”
For not involving the sub-inspector in the proceedings, the DSP justified by saying: “As the case was registered by her, so it was not required to ask her about the facts again.”
Drug Inspector finds it an offence
The drug inspector Sheshan Mittal, who is on medical leave since he submitted his version to Faridkot Police on May 25, said: “Firstly, the police in its FIR didn’t mention my evidence, despite the fact that I was there when the drugs were recovered from the chemist’s house. Secondly, I have told the Faridkot Police, which is conducting the investigation, that recovery of such drugs from a residential premise is an offence. So, I have nothing else to say in this case.”
Bathinda SSP awaits reportsOn his part, Bathinda SSP Naveen Singla said: “I had marked the inquiry to DSP only after a group of about 50 people from Goniana Mandi visited me with a claim that the accused was innocent. As the DSP was convinced with his report, he prepared the FIR cancellation report, which I approved. Now, the zonal IG has marked an inquiry to Faridkot SSP and I am also waiting for the report.”
Sources reveal trouble for Bathinda cops
However, sources in Faridkot Police informed that the investigation officials have raised a serious question mark over the sequence of incidents. They found Bathinda police in haste to cancel the FIR.
It is also learnt that the involvement of bribe in the case had also been reported at some level but the DSP and others, when questioned, out rightly rejected the charges.
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