More than three weeks after the registration of a first-information report (FIR) the district police have failed to arrest former Punjab chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) and former SAD MLA Surinder Singh Dhuri, who along with his wife and nephew has been booked under Section 61 of the Punjab Excise Act.
Interestingly, the police did not take action even after the district court rejected his anticipatory bail application on December 19, helping Dhuri and his family members buy more time to apply for anticipatory bail in the high court.
Taking advantage of the police "inaction", Surinder Dhuri has now approached the Punjab and Haryana high court for anticipatory bail to avoid arrest. According to sources, Dhuri filed the bail application in the high court on December 23. The court has sought record from the district court to consider his plea. Now the police have time till the next hearing on December 30. If Dhuri manages to get bail on Monday, the police would not be able to arrest him after that, they added.
Talking to HT, Krishan Kumar Panthey, deputy superintendent of police, Dhuri, denied that there was police "inaction" in the arrest saying, "Since the registration of FIR, they are at large and the police were making regular raids at Dhuri's residence and hideouts."
When asked that if there was any pressure on the police to arrest the high-profile culprits, he said, "The police are doing their duty. We are also making surprise raids at Dhuri's residence but there was no clue about them. Still we are hopeful that they will be in police net soon."
Though the police were making claims about their efforts for his arrest, their failure in nabbing this influential politician has become a talking point in the region as the former CPS attended a meeting of the Sehajdhari Sikh Party at Dhuri on December 22. But the DSP said he was not aware about his presence at Dhuri.
It may be recalled that on December 5, the police had registered a case at Dhuri Sadar police station against five people, including Surinder Singh Dhuri, his wife Inderjit Kaur, nephew Aman and two others Manpreet Singh and Jaspreet Singh.
Manpreet Singh and Jaspreet Singh were arrested for possessing 108 bottles of countrymade liquor. During the interrogation, they had told the police that they had purchased the liquor from Dhuri's residence. But 22 days after the registration of FIR, the police have failed to arrest the political heavyweight, who remained CPS in 1985 after being elected on SAD ticket from Dhuri.