Contrary to the SAD-BJP government's claims of providing the best facilities to NRIs and having a zero-tolerance approach to corruption, a Manila-based NRI, Bhagwant Rai Bansal, was allegedly forced to pay Rs 5 lakh as 'bribe' by the Phagwara SP after the police officer threatened to implicate him in a false case.
Though the government, following a petition filed by the NRI, had assured the high court over four months ago that the DGP would hold an inquiry into the allegations against Phagwara SP Kanwaljeet Singh Dhillon; the Hoshiarpur SSP, the inquiry officer in the case, is yet to record Dhillon's statement.
Bansal said that he, along with Muktsar BJP president Rakesh Dhingra, Khajurla village sarpanch Om Parkash and former sarpanch Karnail Singh, had visited chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's office in Badal village on October 1, 2011 to seek action against the SP.
"Though the CM's office secretary called up the Kapurthala SSP to take action on my complaint, the SSP favoured Dhillon for obvious reasons," alleged Bansal, pointing out that the inquiry was being conducted at a snail's pace to shield the erring officer even as he had all the documentary and material evidence to prove his allegations.
Narrating the sequence of events, Bansal said that he and one Rajesh Kumar were attacked by his rivals in Manila on August 6, 2006. "While Kumar was gunned down, I survived due to timely medical attention. Kumar's relatives, who were witness to the crime, left the country instead of deposing before the court and revealing the identity of the accused, thus leading to their acquittal.
Kumar's wife Sita Rani lodged a complaint against me that I had plotted her husband's murder. Subsequently, the Phagwara SP sought Rs 7 lakh to settle the case," said Bansal.
The NRI claimed that the deal was finally struck for Rs 5 lakh and he paid the amount to the SP's gunman, Gurpal Singh, and one of his accomplices, who forcibly took away his passport.
Bansal demanded that the SP should be booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act and dismissed from service. "The government should ensure my safety and security since the 'powerful' police officer can eliminate me for pursuing a case against him," said Bansal.
Kumar's son Sunny said Bansal was given Rs 2.80 crore by the accused to work out an "out of court settlement". "We also met the CM. Bansal finally agreed to pay Rs 1.5 crore after the police intervened. He gave Rs 4.74 lakh to us as first installment, but refused to make further
payments," alleged Sunny.
Rubbishing the charges, SP Dhillon said, "Bansal is levelling baseless allegations to save himself from legal action based on a police complaint filed against him by Sita Rani. The inquiry officer is yet to ask me to join the probe. I did not take any bribe from Bansal, who is known in Manila for his notoriety."