Finding the station house officer (SHO) and an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) posted at Badhni Kalan police station in Moga guilty of having links with a gangster, the cops have been given forced retirement.
The cops — SHO Joginder Singh (sub-inspector) and an ASI Gurmej Singh — allegedly received illegal gratification from gangster Kuldeep Singh Keepa, who was shot dead by unidentified people, in form of liquor and money to help him secure interim bail in an attempt-to-murder case.
Keepa, 27, was shot dead by three unidentified assailants at Butter village in Moga on January 27. Keepa, who was said to be an aide of gangster Davinder Bambiha, aka Sharp Shooter, who was kiled in a police encounter at Rampura on September 8 last year, was facing seven cases, including those of murder and attempt to murder.
The forced retirement order of the two cops was issued on Thursday by the superintendent of police (investigation) Balvir Singh, bearing signatures of senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Toor, (a copy procured from sources is with Hindustan Times).
“Had both the officials acted according to the law, the incident of gang war (in which Keepa was shot dead) could have been avoided. The friendly attitude on their part and mixing up with the gangster like Keepa is a serious threat to the law and order in the state of Punjab in future also,” the order reads.
Sources said the collusion between the cops and the gangster came to fore after the Punjab Counter Intelligence Team (PCIT) recorded a verbal communication between Gurmej and Keepa, in which the latter can allegedly be heard demanding liquor and cash from the gangster.
The order also reads that in her statement Ganga Bai, wife of Keepa, had clearly stated that Gurmej and his husband were in constant touch and her husband used to take advice from the cop.
“After the death of my husband, both cops SHO and ASI came to my home and asked me that senior officials are investigating the case and she shouldn’t give any statement against them,” the order quotes Ganga’s statement.
Keepa was booked for attempt to murder after he shot at a Prabhjot Singh, a resident of Badhni Kalan and also injured another Basant Singh on November 11, last year. The case was registered at the Badhni Kalan police station and ASI Gurmej was made the investigating officer (IO). “The IO made little efforts to arrest the accused (Keepa) and also didn’t seize the weapon used in the crime,” the order reads.
SHO TRASHES ALLEGATIONS
Joginder, when contacted, said before taking this action, the department should have considered his ‘clean’ service record spanning over 31 years. “How could I have links with the Moga-based gangster, as I was transferred at Badhni Kalan police station only a week before Keepa was shot dead,” he said.
He said the sole basis for action against him was his being the supervising officer.
“I request director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora to thoroughly reconsider the decision, keeping in mind my service record,” he said, adding the department decision has spoiled his children’s future.
Meanwhile, SSP Toor was not available for a comment.