Liquor haul case: Cop under cloud

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2014 21:03 IST

Tardy police inquiry into a liquor haul from the house of an Akali councillor’s father has put a question mark on the integrity of police functioning in the case.

Moreover, “dilly-dallying approach” by inquiry officer Prithpal Singh Thind, superintendent of police (city), in the case has further strengthened rumor that “a migrant has been made a scapegoat to save influential persons”.

Thind has been entrusted with the inquiry of the case on November 4; however, even after 11 months, he has failed to complete the inquiry, which in itself raises doubts.

Instead of probing into whether the seized liquor belonged to Gian Singh, the father of SAD councillor Rajinder Singh Virk, the officer is beating around the bush by waiting for the report of chemical examination of the seized liquor.

On September 3, the Civil Lines police had seized 13 cartons of liquor from the residence of Gian Singh, however, instead of registering a case against Gian Singh, police booked a migrant labourer, Jawharlal.

Surprisingly, Jawaharlal has been granted bail from police station. The police did not even approach a court to seek remand for his interrogation.

There has been doubt over Thind’s role, as police sources claimed that he had pressurised the Sadar police to “save” Gian Singh.

Sources said initially, Gian Singh was nabbed by police during a raid. They said police had first sent a decoy customer to buy two bottles of liquor and after confirming that a huge stock of liquor was stored in the house, police raided the place and nabbed Gian Singh.

“Even as an FIR was about to be registered, said sources, Thind intervened to save the real accused. All this was done at the behest of a cabinet minister,” sources said.

Succumbing to pressure exerted from higher ups, the investigation officer released Gian Singh.

Even Thind, who earlier denied that Gian Singh was not present on the spot, now admits that Gian Singh was taken to police station, but released as he was found “innocent”.

As per sources, police theory is baseless as how a migrant labouer, who is working for Rs 4,000 per month, can store such a huge stock of liquor in his owner’s house that too without his owner’s knowledge. Secondly, if the migrant labourer was having so much money to buy such a huge stock of liquor, why he had been working as a labourer, they questioned.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has already raised questions over the credibility of police inquiry into the case and also met chief minister Parkash Singh Badal over this issue.

On the other hand, the Akali councillor denied his family’s direct involvement in the crime.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Hardial Singh Mann said he would asked the SP to submit his report in the next two days. “If the role of the SP is found biased, I will ask another officer to conduct a parallel inquiry,” the SSP added.

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