The police have initiated no inquiry into the role of its officers in the mishandling of the Shruti Sachdeva kidnapping case, in which people with criminal history abducted a minor girl from her Faridkot home at gunpoint.
Three of the four police officials in the eye of the storm have escaped action. Even station house officer concerned Balwinder Singh Bassi was suspended in another case, a few days after Shruti was kidnapped.
The-then acting deputy superintendent of police (city), Faridkot, Gurmeet Singh Brar, earned a promotion as superintendent of police. The-then deputy inspector general (DIG), Firozpur range, Paramraj Singh Umranangal, was moved to the border range, considered a more important posting in the police circles.
The-then senior superintendent of police, Faridkot, Gurinder Singh Dhillon, also escaped any serious consequence and was only transferred as commandant of the 4th commando unit. "The Punjab government wants to divert the public attention from the role of its police in the incident by making a spicy story every day," said Sawarn Singh, member of the joint action committee protesting against the police's mishandling of the case. "There is anger in Faridkot over the way a known criminal, Nishan Singh, took away Shruti at gunpoint."
Instead of initiating any inquiry against the police officials concerned, the government had given promotion to DSP Gurmeet Singh and a more important post to DIG Umranagal, said Sawarn Singh. "If there is be no fair inquiry into the police role in the entire episode, the suspended SHO will also resume duty," he added.
Director general of police Sumedh Singh Saini had almost given a clean chit to his officers at his press conference in Jalandhar on October 21 after the recovery of Shruti. However, Deep Malotra, legislator of the Shiromani Akali Dal from Faridkot, conitues to raise hopes of investigation agaist the police.
"There were police lapses in the initial stage, which got the people angry," said Malhotra. "I will pursue the matter until proper inquiry. Our first priority was to arrest the suspect. We didn't want to shift the focus by launching an inquiry earlier."
The legislator charged the action committee of abusing the Punjab government over nothing. "It has not taken the issue seriously and sensitively," he said. "They have taken the girl's parents hostage, and they do not seem to be keen on a logical conclusion."
Over the promotion of DSP Gurmeet Singh, Malhotra said it was in due procedure under service rules, and the government could not have stopped it because the inquiry was yet to open.