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HindustanTimes Sun,24 Aug 2014

JE suicide: “Absconding” DDPO joins back his duty, police still claim for conducting raids

Rajeev Bhaskar , Hindustan Times   Jalandhar, March 05, 2013
First Published: 18:52 IST(5/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:04 IST(5/3/2013)

Amidst police claims of conducting raids in entire Punjab to nab absconding accused officials booked in JE Suicide case, one of the accused District Development & Panchayat Officer (DDPO) Sarabjit Singh Walia on Monday conspicuously joined back duty in his office, situated just 100 meter away from Police Commissioner's office.

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“Yes, DDPO has joined back his duty on Monday and perhaps he obtained bail from High Court and only after that he has joined back his duty”, Deputy Commissioner Shruti Singh told Hindustan Times.

Asked whether she personally saw the bail documents of the accused, she said “no I have not personally scanned the bail documents but it was only claimed by DDPO himself”.

Meanwhile, sources said that Punjab & Haryana Court has granted interim bail of DDPO Walia and he was instructed to join investigation by March 9 and for hearing of his regular bail next date is given March 18 by the court.

When contacted, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ravinder Pal Singh Sandhu expressed his unaware of DDPO's joining back the duty and claimed that raids were still being conducted to nab the accused officials, against whom appropriate arrest warrant were obtained from the court.

Asked how an official, against whom the arrest warrant has been issued, could join back his office, situated just 100 meters away from his office (ACP's), Sandhu failed to give any satisfactory reply and said “as per law, DDPO should have informed the police first about his interim bail, before joining back his duty”.

“We will definitely conduct raid in his office tomorrow to arrest him, as he was absent from his office today”, ACP vowed.

Director (Rural Development & Panchayat), Karuna Raju, when contacted by HT, also expressed his unaware of DDPO's joining back his duty, but said “as per my information DDPO and other officials were remaining absent from their duties and Deputy Director has recommended strict disciplinary action against them, which is under process”.

Sources said that other accused Block Development & Panchayat Officer (BDPO) Bhagwan Singh has also applied for bail in Punjab & Haryana High Court, which has fixed March 22 as date of hearing on bail plea.

Meanwhile, brother of deceased JE, Captain Ranjit Singh accused the police and civil administration for conniving to save accused officials.

“How could it be possible that such senior officials remained absent from their duty to evade arrest since January 25 and department failed to take any disciplinary action against them, even after such a long time”, Captain said.

It is pertinent to mention here that on January 25, Junior Engineer, Harbhajan Singh had committed suicide in his office, leaving a suicide note holding DDPO Sarabjit Singh Walia, BDPO Bhagwan Singh and SDO Navdeep Singh Gill, responsible for creating circumstances for his committing the extreme step of suicide.

Accordingly, accused officials were booked by city police under section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for abetting suicide on the same day.

Apart from leaving suicide note, the deceased had also written names of the accused officials on the wall of the room, in which he took the extreme step.

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