In another twist to the drug peddling case against two cops, the Moga police, now, seem to be trying their best to save the people of their own ilk. The police have also moved an application in the court claiming the charges against the cops were false.
The accused cops — assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Jarnail Singh, who was then the in-charge of Nathuwal police post; and head constable Jasbir Singh — were arrested on September 6, 2013 after recovery of 168-kg poppy husk, 66 bottles of liquor and Rs 46,000 from the police post.
The cops were nabbed following the arrest of ‘drug peddler’ Jagsir Singh alias Sheera of Mahla Kalan in Moga, from whose possession 140 kg poppy husk was seized. Interestingly, to prove that the cops were innocent, the police are also allegedly diluting the case against Sheera.
Two separate first information reports (FIR) — against Sheera and accused cops — under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act were registered at Baghapurana police station on September 6, 2013, in the presence of the then deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Gurmeet Singh and station house officer (SHO) Amarjit Singh.
As per the record accessed by HT, the details of case against Sheera vary in challans produced in court from carbon copy of challan submitted in vernacular record keeper (VRK) branch at the senior superintendent of police (SSP) office. In record copies — challans produced in the court and a challan copy submitted to the vernacular record keeper (VRK) branch at the senior superintendent of police (SSP) office —
related to the case against Sheera, procured by Hindustan Times from sources, the details vary though they are carbon copies.
Tampering with records?
The date mentioned below the signatures of Jarnail Singh on the court copy is September 7, 2013, while the case was registered on September 6, 2013, in the presence of DSP Gurmeet Singh and other witnesses, also signed by investigation officer sub-inspector Rajinder Singh. In contrast, the copy procured from vernacular record keeper branch through Right To Information (RTI) act has no date mentioned below the signatures of Jarnail Singh.
It has been learnt that the accused cop wanted to prove that police had forcibly taken his signatures on the challan against Jagsir Singh as he was in the police custody on September 7, 2013, which meant he was not authorised to sign the official document being the police post in-charge.
Similar attempt has been made in the case against Jarnail Singh. The copy of challan against Jarnail Singh produced in the court mentions September 8, 2013, while the case was registered on the night of September 6, 2013.
When contacted, DSP Gurmeet Singh, station house officer Amarjit and investigating officer Rajinder Singh claimed that there was no date mentioned below the signatures of Jarnail as he was present at that time when FIR was registered against Sheera. They also said that they had recorded their statement before the court.
“The dates were deliberately incorporated below the signatures of Jarnail. However, the police can’t register an FIR in the absence of a witness,” the DSP said.
Accused got bail as challan was delayed
Taking advantage of delay in filing challan by the police, the accused cops and Sheera got bail. The police ‘reinvestigated’ the case and moved a plea in the court in February 2015 that the accused were ‘innocent’. Moreover, after getting bail, both the accused cops were reinstated even as the trial was still on. Sources said the accused cops had the support of a ruling party leader from Baghapurana sub-division.
“After reinvestigation of the case by the special investigation team (SIT), it has been found that the case was falsely registered as no police party nor accused persons were found present at the spot. Nothing was recovered from the police post as mentioned in the FIR,” reads a letter submitted in the court by the police.
However, the court has not considered the letter given by the police so far. The next hearing in the case is on March 17, 2016.
Ramesh Grover, ex-president, District Bar Association, Moga, said there was a nexus among politicians, police and drug smugglers and the cops were trying to save the accused.
Grover said he would file a writ petition in the high court, demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation probe or judicial inquiry in the case.