A day after the arrest of high-profile conman Rahul Kumar, son of former Dinanagar BJP MLA Roop Rani, who had impersonated as superintendent of police (SP) deputed in the Punjab vigilance department, investigations have revealed that he had duped more than 60 government officers in the state.
Talking to HT, senior superintendent of police (SSP), vigilance (Amritsar), Patil K Baliram said that during the preliminary investigations, they had also found that the accused had extorted more than Rs 30 lakh from these officers. “The exact figure could be much more. Right now, we can disclose only about the transactions revealed by the accused so far,” he added.
Among those tricked by him included officers of the rank of superintendent engineer, district food and supply controller, chief medical officer, executive engineer, district health officer and officials of cooperative societies and Punjab Roadways depots from across the state.
The SSP said that about one month ago, Amritsar divisional forest officer SK Sagar lodged a complaint with him that some vigilance officer from his department called him and asked for money to fix a corruption case. “Subsequently, I laid a trap and after a joint operation by the vigilance department and the Batala police, we arrested him from Dharamshala,” he said.
Rahul, grandson of former Punjab minister Vaid GianChand, did his graduation in 1998 and subsequently appeared for PCS (executive) examination which he flunked. “That was the time when he decided to step into the world of crime,” the SSP said.
Accused’s modus operandi
Meanwhile, Batala city police SHO Narinder Singh told HT that the accused used a novel modus operandi.
“He would call up officers and tell them that they were trapped in vigilance net and then asked them to tell him what to do. Frightened over the spectre of a vigilance case, the officers were left with no option except to tell the accused to ‘file’ the case. The accused would then ring them (officers) up after a day or two claiming that their case had been ‘filed’ and they had nothing to worry about. At the same time he would ask them to deposit money, running into thousands of rupees, into his bank account as he had to pay the hospital bills of some of his relatives who were sick,” the SHO revealed.
A case had been registered against the accused at the city police station, Batala, on May 10 under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint filed by Karanjit Singh Kler, an officer of the Tarn Taran depot of Punjab Roadways.