Repentance is what is hitting Neelam Singh over and over again, as the fateful evening when CBI sleuths swooped down and arrested her husband SP (City) Deshraj Singh was the first time in six months that she had left him alone in the evening.
"I went out only for 15 minutes and see what happened. For six months, he has been very tense and disturbed. Though he has been maintaining his cool, I apprehended the worst and never used to leave him alone in the evenings. In fact after 10pm, I used to keep his phone with me and never used to let him go out alone at night," Neelam said.
The IPS officer had even taken up the matter with his seniors and expressed apprehension that he may be fixed or harmed by some people. "The entire episode of Deshraj being offered bribe by inspector Anokh Singh is a complete frame-up and a fallout of the Chandigarh police politics. This is what he had feared since long," said his wife.
"Ever since Deshraj conducted departmental inquiries, he came under tremendous pressure and the politics within the police force started to weigh heavy on him. He had even thought of seeking a transfer to get rid of the mudslinging in the Chandigarh police, but then decided to fight it out," Neelam said. Neelam Singh is the daughter of a former IAS officer from Uttaranchal and hails from Nainital.
The youngest of 10 brothers and sisters, Deshraj is the most well read. Coming from a farmer's family of Uttar Pradesh, the IPS officer has always led a simple life. Deshraj also served in as ACP in New Delhi.
Recalling the incidents of October 19, Neelam said: "We had returned after shopping for some household stuff when I again went out with a neighbour. I came back in about 15 minutes at about 7.45 pm to find people standing outside the house. I thought there was some accident, but as I came in, the CBI officials told me that it was a raid."
The last two years have been especially harrowing for the couple, Neelam said. "Deshraj joined the Chandigarh police in November 2010 and our troubles began. I had a premature delivery last year and had to stay at PGIMER for almost six months. My five-year-old daughter is under treatment for a nerve problem in the arm," said Neelam. Regaining composure, however, she added that her husband would come out clean, as she had complete trust in the CBI and the judicial system.
Jail food it was for the SP
It was a quiet day for SP Deshraj Singh at the Burail jail and his wife got the ashtami parsad for him. His mother Naurangi Devi, who also visited him in the jail, said: "My son is a god-fearing man and I cannot imagine him taking bribe." Deshraj Singh consumed food from the jail and is sharing his barrack with two other Chandigarh cops, who were allegedly caught by the CBI for taking bribe.
Media kept at bay
An annual cultural evening was organised at the Burail jail on Monday, for which the police conveniently avoided inviting the media apparently because of Deshraj Singh's presence in the jail. Deshraj, too, did not attend the cultural function.