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SP Deshraj lands in CBI trap

HT Live Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, October 19, 2012
First Published: 00:35 IST(19/10/2012) | Last Updated: 17:40 IST(19/10/2012)

In a major embarrassment to the Chandigarh police, the Central Bureau of Investigation nabbed one of the top police officers Superintendent of Police (City) Deshraj Singh while receiving bribe of Rs. 1 lakh at his Sector 23 residence on Thursday night. Incidentally, the complainant in the case is also a UT cop - the Sector 26 SHO Anokh Singh.

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SP (City) Deshraj Singh is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer with additional charge of SP (Headquarters). It is for the first time that an official of a rank as high as the SP has fallen in a trap laid by the CBI.

"It is a trap. We will give details in the morning," said Vineet Brijlal, SP, CBI, Chandigarh.

According to CBI sources, the trap was laid on the complaint of Anokh Singh, who was facing two departmental inquiries being conducted by Deshraj. The complainant alleged that the SP had demanded Rs. 5 lakh from him to give him a clean chit in the two cases, but the deal was fixed for Rs. 2 lakh. Thursday was fixed for the delivery of the first installment of Rs. 1 lakh.

Interestingly, it is for the first time that an inspector level official has complained against an IPS officer to the CBI. Sources also revealed that five inquiries (see box) were marked against the SHO by the SP.

Meanwhile, top police officials remained unapproachable on the issue. The cell phones of top police officials, including DIG Alok Kumar and SSP Naunihal Singh, were repeatedly found switched off.

CASES AGAINST ANOKH SINGH

* One of the inquiries was that Anokh Singh had allegedly misbehaved with SP Deshraj Singh in the monthly crime meeting of the Chandigarh Police this year.
* The second inquiry was that about one and half year back, when Anokh Singh was posted as SHO, Sector 11 police station, he didn't reach at a theft spot in Sector 24. At that time Deshraj reprimanded him and marked an inquiry against him and sent him to police lines.
* Wife of former MLA from Rajpura Balwant Singh was robbed at her home in Sector 28 earlier this year. Anokh Singh allegedly didn't inform SP (City) Deshraj and an inquiry was initiated.
*Anokh Singh's role in a property dispute case is also under probe.

Internal rivalry?
Deshraj Singh was in news recently over an argument with inspector Amanjot Singh. The feud began on May 7, when during the visit of the Vice-President Hamid Ansari to PGIMER, Deshraj, who was ASP then, alleged that Amanjot and inspector Neeraj Sarna didn't obey his orders. An inquiry was marked, following which Amanjot resigned. Police had dropped the inquiries against him but a few months later, the ministry of home affairs took suo motu notice of the IB reports and suspended Amanjot Singh.

Who is Deshraj?
Thirty-three-year-old Deshraj Singh is a 2008-batch officer of India Police Service. He did his masters from the IIT, Kanpur. Earlier, he has worked as a software engineer in a private company and as an assistant garrison engineer in the MES, Ministry of Defence. He joined the Chandigarh Police in October 2010 as ASP and was promoted as SP on July 25 this year. He is yet to complete two years of stay with Chandigarh police, having joined on October 28, 2010.

Other cops caught by CBI
February 25: ASI Deshraj and HC Vajinder Singh caught taking Rs. 3,000 from a proclaimed offender for getting him released on bail
August 24: Constable Jeetinder Singh arrested while taking Rs. 15,000 from a mobile phone booth owner
September 6: SI Naveen Kumar nabbed receiving Rs. 5 lakh
September 26: SI Kulwarnjeet Singh Cheema arrested for taking Rs. 25,000 from a Manimajra resident for not framing him in an attempt to murder case.

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