Three days after a junior engineer employed with the Block Development and Panchayat Office (BDPO) committed suicide in his office, naming three officials for driving him to take the extreme step, the city police have failed to arrest the accused.
“We could not arrest the accused officials named in junior engineer Harbhajan Singh's suicide note as we did not have their residential addresses. We will raid their houses after we get their addresses from the department, probably today,” said assistant commissioner of police Ravinder Pal Singh Sandhu.
He said: “We have also obtained the details of a corruption case in which the JE was one of the accused. This angle to the case is also being probed and teams will be sent to arrest the accused here too.”
Junior engineer Harbhajan Singh employed with BDPO office (West) had committed suicide in his office on January 25, naming the district development & panchayat officer (DDPO) Sarabjit Singh Walia, BDPO Bhagwan Singh and sub-divisional officer (SDO) Navdeep Singh Gill, as having created circumstances that forced him to end his life. Harbhajan had also written the names of the accused officials on the wall of the room, sources said.
After adopting initial dilly-dallying approach, the city police booked the accused officials under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) late in the evening on January 25. However, no effort was made to arrest them, giving them enough time to flee.
The JE's brother Captain (Retd) Ranjit Singh has alleged that the police was sheltering the accused. “Although the suicide note naming the accused officials was handed over to police at 11.30 am on January 25, which was a working day and the accused were likely to be in their offices, no attempt was made to arrest them.”
Singh claimed that in spite of being well-known, even on Monday, the police claimed to be searching for the accused's addresses, instead of actually searching for the accused.
“My brother's suicide note claimed that he was being blackmailed by the accused officials on the pretext of implicating him in a false case of corruption. The npte also said that he had given Rs. 2 lakh to the accused officials,” Singh said, adding that pleas to register a corruption case against the accused were ignored.
The Jalandhar Zone members of the Council of Diploma Engineers have also come out in support of the victim and organised a dharna opposite the BDPO office and demanded action against the accused.
“If the accused officials are not arrested soon, the agitation would be intensified,” convener of the council Kulwant Singh said, adding that the council would meet to January 30 to chalk out a future course of action.