In an attempt to appease Sikh hardliners worked up over sacrilege, the Mansa police are tipped to be planning to drop all charges against radical preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal during a court hearing on Saturday.
Well-placed sources in the district police confirmed that the department had decided to cancel two cases against him. In 2011, he was booked over alleged remarks against the head of Dera Sacha Sauda in Bhikhi, where his supporters had then clashed with police, which brought attempt-to-murder charges against 50. Daduwal was then remanded in judicial custody but released to preserve law and order. In 2014, the case was reopened on the statement of deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Satwant Singh that the preacher’s supporters had damaged his car in the violence.
A day before taking Daduwal into police custody on September 27 last year, the Mansa police had filed a separate case against him under the Arms Act. Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Bhupinder Singh Khattara had then claimed to have seized an AK-47 assault rifle and some live cartridges from Daduwal’s car near Tamkot in Mansa district.
A related case under Sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for cheating) and 471 (using a forged record as genuine) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against Daduwal on the basis of a transaction of about `20 lakh from his account. The next month, Daduwal received bail in both cases, and he has since been appearing in court, where during a scheduled hearing on Saturday, all the charges are planned to be dropped, according to a senior police officer.
“We have prepared an inquiry report and found all the charges to be false,” said a senior police officer, who wished to remain anonymous. SSP Raghbir Singh Sandhu, however, denied any such move. DSP Rupinder Kumar Bhardwaj is tipped to have prepared the cancellation report after reinvestigation into both cases against Daduwal.
When contacted, previous SSP Khattra said he was unaware of any latest development.