More than 24 days after a junior engineer, Harbhajan Singh, employed with the block development and panchayat department committed suicide in his office, the police and the department are seemingly reluctant to take action.
On the basis of suicide note left by the deceased, officials including district panchayat & development officer (DDPO) Sarabjit Singh Walia, BDPO Bhagwan Singh and SDO Navdeep Singh Gill, were booked by city police under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC on January 25.
The city police had also obtained arrest warrants of the accused and a district sessions court had rejected their bail plea. In spite of this, the police have failed to arrest them and the department has also failed to take disciplinary action. The accused are not only evading arrest, but have also absented themselves from duty till date.
"Yes, the accused officials could not be arrested so far, in spite of raids at their possible hideouts. They are absconding,"ACP Ravinder Pal Singh Sandhu told Hindustan Times.
He added that the panchayat department has been informed that the officials are absocnding, with a recommendation for disciplinary action.
Sources said that department has only issued directions that it should be informed as soon as the accused are arrested.
Leaders of Officers' Association of the department also met the director (panchayat), who on their request recommended that inquiry be conducted again in the case.
Brother of the deceased, Captain (Retd) Ranjit Singh while talking to HT said that it was surprising that the police was not making any effort to arrest the officials. He allged that this chorus of inquiring into the matter again was only a ploy to get the accused out of the case.
"We have met both director (panchayat) Karuna Raju and minister for jails and panchayat Surjit Singh Rakhra to seek immediate action against the absconding accused. However, they did not give assurance, but said that the law will take its own course."
Several attempts were made to contact Rakhra and director Raju , but both were not available for their comment.