The Punjab Police have come under scrutiny for recommending the case of Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, alleged conspirator in the Delhi farmhouse shootout, for issuance of passport by the regional office, Jalandhar, despite him being a resident of Uttarakhand's Udham Singh Nagar district.
Meanwhile, the regional passport office here has "impounded" Namdhari's passport for submitting wrong particulars. The document had been issued during the Congress regime (2002-07) in Punjab.
Speaking to Hindustan Times here, passport officer Parneet Singh said Jarnail Singh, then station house officer (SHO) of Lohian Khas (Jalandhar district), had recommended Namdhari's case for issuance of passport after "verifying" his particulars.
"Namdhari had applied for a passport in March 2006. The police verification report suggested that a police team had visited his purported residence at Jania village in Lohian Khas block on the Jalandhar-Ferozepur border, verified him to be a resident of the village and later recommended him for passport issuance for 'possessing good character'. Even the intelligence wing, in its separate report, didn't mention any objection to issuance of passport," Parneet said, adding that it was a matter of grave concern that Namdhari got the police verification report conducted in his favour despite being a non-Punjab domicile person.
Parneet stated that in October, Chitranjan Singh of Uttarakhand had submitted a complaint to the passport office about Namdhari obtaining a passport on the basis of fake particulars. "Though we served a showcause notice on Namdhari, the letter returned undelivered since his address was found to be invalid. We impounded his passport on Monday," he said, adding that the ration card attached with the application, too, seemed to be fake.
On action over submitting a false police verification report, Parneet said he had written a letter to Jalandhar senior superintendent of police (rural) Yurinder Singh Hayre to conduct an inquiry into the matter so that suitable action could be taken against erring police officials.
When contacted, Hayre said the inquiry was being conducted. "We will take appropriate action against erring cops after the receipt of the inquiry report," he added.
Jania village sarpanch Surjit Singh had told HT on Monday that Intelligence Bureau (IB) sleuths had visited him six months ago to enquire about Namdhari's antecedents. "They had a photocopy of Namdhari's passport, which showed him to be a Jania village resident. I inspected the official record, but didn't find anyone by the name of Sukhdev Singh Namdhari," the sarpanch had said.