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Former Punjab top cop arrested

india Updated: Sep 10, 2007 01:11 IST
Manish Tiwari

FORMER PUNJAB DGP S.S. Virk, a 1970 batch IPS officer, was on Sunday arrested on charges of corruption and amassing wealth beyond known sources of income. He was arrested by a state Vigilance Bureau team from New Delhi and brought to S.A.S. Nagar here for questioning. The VB has also arrested a property dealer, Vijay Pal Singh alias Dimpy, in connection with the case.

Virk, presently posted in Maharashtra, has been charged with misusing his office to amass ill-gotten wealth through property dealings, sale and purchase of plots and colonisation. He has also been charged with patronising a private group of former terrorists like Sukhwinder Singh alias Sukhi. The properties allegedly amassed by him are worth Rs 100 crore, says the FIR against him.

“The cases against me are false and fabricated,” said Virk. Former chief minister Amarinder Singh, said to be close to the former DGP, said “the arrest was on frivolous grounds” and the “motive stinks of political vendetta”. He added: “I will meet the PM on the matter and seek action against the Punjab government.”

After examining Virk, doctors found he was suffering from high blood pressure and hypertension and has been kept “under observation” at the Mohali Civil Hospital.

Virk, who served as Punjab DGP for almost three years, was placed under suspension by the SAD-BJP government in April, when his name figured in a controversial land deal in S.A.S. Nagar district. “A criminal case was registered against him yesterday,” a Vigilance officer said. According to the FIR, apart from crores in liquid assets, Virk has allegedly amassed a palatial house, a flat and a Rs 70-crore illegal resort and several hundred acres of land. The Bureau claims it has found six bank accounts belonging to him and his relatives which reflect transactions worth crores during 2000-07.

Virk served in Punjab for almost 18 years and is credited with playing a proactive role in wiping out terrorism from the state. His downfall started just before the 2007 assembly poll when the Election Commission shifted him as the SAD apprehended he would be a deterrent to free and fair polls. Later, when the SAD-BJP came to power in March, it placed him under suspension in a land grab case

With inputs from Gurpreet Singh