Inspector Baldev Singh, in charge of Narcotic Cell here, has been given suspension order and sent to Police Lines on a charge of demanding bribe from alleged drug peddler Kulwinder Singh and driving him to commit suicide.
The inspector had reportedly arrested Kulwinder Singh with 1.5-kilogram poppy husk on June 7; and on June 11, Kulwinder committed suicide in Gurdaspur Central Jail, accusing the cop of framing him.
The victim’s family claimed the inspector had picked up Kulwinder from his home at Hardo Bathwala village near here, planted the drug on him, and showed the arrested at Gajnipur village.
The villagers of Hardo Bathwala had staged an in definited harna over the issue at Post Office Chowk on Wednesday, demanding a murder case against inspector Baldev Singh. Senior police officers on Wednesday tried to get the family to lift the blockade, and promised to hold an inquiry.
On Thursday, the agitation intensified and the villagers blocked traf fic at Kahnuwan Chowk on the GT Road around 3pm.
They declined to get autopsy done until a murder case was registered against the inspector.
Anticipating violence, senior superintendent of police Sukhwant Singh Gill sough more force from Amritsar (rural) and Batala police districts. Finally, Gill agreed to suspend the inspector and mark an inquiry to superintendent of police (detective) Jagjit Singh Saroa.
Kulwinder (40) is survived by his wife, son, and two daughters. The children are minor. Gurdaspur legislator and chief parliamentary secretary Gurbachan Singh Babbehali helpe4d the police and the aggrieved family reach an agreement.
The chief judicial magistrate recorded the statements of Kulwinder’s family, and the tehsildar was given the task of holding the magisterial investigation. The family, later, claimed the body for funeral after the post-mortem examination.
The victim’s elder brother, Charan Singh, said the inspector had tortured Kulwinder Singh to death, and rejected the suicide theory. Raman Bahl, member of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), visited the aggrieved family.
Aam Aadmi Party leaders SS Kahlon, Narinder Singh, and Bharat Bhushan also promised it support and demanded a criminal case against the police officer.