Two days after registering a rape case against the Superintendent of Police (SP) rank officer Salwinder Singh of Punjab Police Service (PPS), the Gurdaspur district police on Friday claimed that the accused officer was on the run.
“Police parties have been sent to the possible hideouts of Salwinder Singh to arrest him, but he was not found anywhere so far,” Jagdeep Singh Hundal, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurdaspur district told Hindustan Times.
However, Salwinder Singh, who is currently posted as assistant commandant of Punjab Armed Police (PAP) at Jalandhar, called up this newspaper three times on Friday, claiming that he was very much in Punjab and not in hiding.
“I am unwell and watching television. I am not absconding. I have been booked with ulterior motives at the behest of some police officers. Last year, I was given clean chit by an IPS officer who held inquiry into this 2014 complaint. Now they have registered a rape case against me,” Salwinder, the controversial cop who was subjected to a lie-detector test by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the January 1 Pathankot airbase terror attack, said.
The FIR was registered under section 376-C (sexual intercourse by person in authority) of the Indian Penal Code at the Gurdaspur city police station following an inquiry conducted by Pathankot SP (headquarters) GS Khurana into the complaint of a woman who had accused Salwinder of exploiting her when he was posted in Gurdaspur as SP (headquarter).
Another case under the Prevention of Corruption Act was also lodged against him late on Wednesday night.
The allegation against Salwinder is that when he was posted in Gurdaspur, the name of the husband of the complainant allegedly figured in a rape case. The woman had sought help of Salwinder, who allegedly accepted Rs 50,000 bribe from the complainant, besides harassing her sexually.
On Friday Salwinder Singh had to appear before Inspector General (IG) Gurpreet Deo, who is the head of the Sexual Harassment Committee of the Punjab Police, at Chandigarh in connection with a complaint of sexual harassment five women cops had lodged against him during his posting in Gurdaspur.
“I informed the inquiry officer that I am not well and sought one week time,” the accused police officer said over phone.
As Salwinder was speaking to mediapersons over phone, the police claim that he was not found in his “hideouts” raises doubts over the police theory in view of the fact that Punjab police first put cell phones under surveillance to track down and to find out the location of the accused on the run.