Punjab police inspector general (IG) Gautam Cheema, whose conduct is under the scanner of the vigilance bureau (VB), has been accused by the Mohali police of forcibly taking away from their custody a proclaimed offender (PO) on the night of August 26, a gross professional misconduct which is being kept under tight wraps by the state police, it has come to light.
PO Sumedh Gulati, who was arrested on August 26, is a business partner of an alleged conman Devinder Singh Gill, who was arrested recently and is a friend-turned-foe of IG Cheema.
Cheema, who is posted in the information technology and telecommunications (IT&T) wing of the police in Chandigarh, was not available for comment.
Following a direction from deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal, director general of police (vigilance bureau) Suresh Arora is holding an inquiry into the role of Cheema and his alleged involvement with the Mohali-based real estate businessman Devinder Gill alias Devinder Thapa.
Kricpy Khera, wife of Gill, who is the owner of Sky Heights company, had alleged that Cheema got false cases registered against her husband, his family and friends following a dispute over sharing profit in the joint property business. And PO Gulati is a real estate business partner of Gill since 2007.
“IG Cheema has family relations with Devinder Gill and Gulati,” Kricpy had said in her 12-page complaint to the deputy CM, who on Thursday had directed the DGP (VB) to inquire into allegations against Cheema.
The primary allegation against the police officer is that he was allegedly involved in shady land deals with Gill and Gulati.
Damning dossierIn a damning communication to the top Punjab police brass, Mohali senior superintendent of police (SSP) Inder Mohan Singh has now informed how Cheema allegedly “kidnapped” the PO within hours of him being arrested. Confirming the development, the Mohali SSP said, “I have sent a report (to police high-ups) about IG Cheema.”
On August 25 evening, the Mohali police had received a phone call saying Kricpy had allegedly tried to commit suicide and was undergoing treatment at a Mohali-based private hospital.
The police had recorded her statement on August 26 evening and following a tip-off also arrested the PO from the private hospital’s premises where Kricpy was admitted, as per the SSP’s report.
In his dossier, the Mohali district police chief has stated that on August 26 around 11pm when ASI Dilbagh Singh was questioning Gulati, Cheema accompanied by two men descended on the police station in two private cars.
The report says that the IG threatened the ASI and forcibly took custody of Gulati and sped away.
The SSP, quoting the ASI, has alleged that Cheema was drunk too. The ASI sounded the SHO on phone.Late at night, the report says, the police found the PO in the hospital room of Kricpy where IG Cheema and a few others were present. Finally, Cheema handed over Gulati to the police.