Defending her "innocent" husband who has been on the run after being booked for offences such as abduction and molestation, Sukhmani Cheema, wife of Punjab Police inspector general (IG) Gautam Cheema, on Wednesday alleged that the IPS officer was being "falsely implicated" by a lobby of police officers.
"Cheema belongs to the scheduled caste community and is being intentionally targeted so that he does not get an opportunity to attain the highest post in the service," Sukhmani told a press conference here.
On Sunday, the Mohali police booked IG Cheema for abducting from police custody proclaimed offender (PO) Sumedh Gulati, and on Tuesday, the Mohali police also registered a case of molestation against the 1995-batch IPS officer.
Besides Cheema, the police have registered the FIR against Ajay Chaudhary, the suspended chief executive officer of the Ambala Cantonment Board.
Chaudhary's wife Himani, in a press statement, said her husband too "has been falsely implicated". She said, "My husband had registered three separate FIRs about forgery and cheating against Devinder Gill and Sumedh Gulati, but no action has been taken so far."
Meanwhile, Sukhmani alleged that a gang of criminals being supported by an important lobby of Punjab cadre IPS officers had implicated Cheema to protect their own skin. "If any injustice is done to my husband, I may have to disclose the names of some of the IPS lobby, which is supporting the gang," she threatened, saying the campaign against her husband was being spearheaded through Kricpy Khera who was facing "a large number of cases of cheating and fraud", a charge the latter denied.
She claimed that vested interests had labelled her husband as a criminal despite him having an "outstanding" service record, adding that the allegation of abduction was false and that she had obtained the CCTV footage and that her husband never went to the police station, nor was he accompanied by Ajay Chaudhary, as alleged.
She said, "Sumedh Gulati was not abducted. The Mohali Police are apparently working on the directions of a criminal gang supported by the interested lobby in service."
The IG's wife said the moment Kricpy Khera came to know about the impending arrest of her husband Devinder Gill on charges of rape, she started alleging that the IG had molested her.
Kricpy denies allegations
Kricpy Khaira, who also held a press conference at SAS Nagar on Wednesday, denied the allegations levelled by Sukhmani.
"Sumedh Gulati was apparently abducted by Cheema, as ASI Dilbagh Singh has alleged in his complaint. Also, Cheema beat up Gulati in front of me and several others in my room," she said.
She said she had resigned from the Bharti Education Consultancy last year and the complaints of the alleged travel agency fraud against the firm were not against her. "If it is proved in the investigation that I'm liable to pay up any of these complainants, I'll pay them," she said.
She even showed photographs to prove that she was married to Davinder Gill.
Maninder Kaur, wife of Sumedh Gulati, who was also with Kricpy on Wednesday, said, "More cases will be registered against IG Cheema and his associates for disproportionate assets and truth will soon be out."
We stand by FIR: SSP
Reacting to the media reports of 'fake' abduction, SAS Nagar SSP Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti said, "We stand by our FIR as it has been registered on the basis of statements. We will examine the CCTV footage that shows the presence of IG Cheema in front of the private hospital in SAS Nagar."
He said, "We are also trying to identify the person who accompanied Cheema and Ajay Chaudhary, suspended CEO of Ambala Cantonment Board, in the abduction of Gulati."
Meanwhile, even after four days, the SAS Nagar police have failed to trace Cheema. The SSP said teams had been sent to Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and they hoped to arrest him soon.