In an apparent appeal to get his suspension revoked, inspector general of police (IGP) Gautam Cheema has written to the Punjab government to put his mountaineering experience to use by sending him to Nepal to carry out rescue work there under the Indian government’s ‘Operation Maitri’.
Citing that he had completed a 25-day mountaineering course in 2004, Cheema, in his appeal, said: “The departmental inquiry against me may continue and I be given an opportunity to carry out duties. I am ready to move at a short notice.”
Cheema mentioned that he headed the state reserve police force contingent that carried out the rescue work in Uttarkashi during the devastating Uttarakhand floods in 2013. He said they had carried out works like road connectivity, setting up temporary shelters and rescuing trapped people from remote areas. “I was deployed there for 10 days and I successfully completed my mission and saved the lives of many Punjabis trapped there,” Cheema said in the appeal.
Cheema has forwarded the application to Punjab home secretary Jagpal Singh Sandhu, and also sent the copies to the Punjab chief minister, deputy CM and DGP.
Punjab home secretary Jagpal Singh Sandhu couldn’t be contacted. However, highly placed sources in the government said since Cheema was facing disciplinary proceedings, such a request couldn’t be entertained even for a humanitarian cause. IG Cheema is facing two cases registered in Mohali and was suspended from services in September 2014.
He was booked for abducting a proclaimed offender Sumedh Gulati from the police custody on the night of August 26, 2014, in SAS Nagar. Cheema and his aide Ajay Chaudhary were booked on August 30, 2014, under sections 365 (kidnapping), 342 (wrongful confinement), 452 (house trespass), 325 (voluntarily causing hurt), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 225 (resistance or obstruction to lawful apprehension of another person), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
Three days after he was booked for abduction, a case was registered against Cheema for outraging the modesty of a woman on September 2, 2014.
SP(D) Gursharandeep Grewal said that both the cases against IG Cheema were under investigation.