DIG backing Pinky faces probe for ‘harassing’ Patiala family
Senior IPS officer Gurinder Singh Dhillon, who is already in soup for re-instating the dismissed controversial cop Gurmeet Singh Pinky, is also facing a high-level inquiry for allegedly misusing his position to harass an NRI family in a land dispute case.
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had ordered an inquiry in January to look into a complaint by NRI Manjinder Pal Singh and wife Selina Singh of San Francisco (US), which claimed that Dhillon sneaked into their farmhouse near Patiala, threatened them and also sent goons who stayed on the premises for days together, pressing them to budge in a family dispute over the possession of around 100 acres of agricultural land.
Five months on, the inquiry is still pending, and reached the office of principal secretary home Jagpal Singh Sandhu last month, after it remained unattended in the office of Patiala divisional commissioner AS Pannu.
Sandhu said the inquiry was on but refused to comment further.
Sandhu had summoned both the parties on May 19 when the DIG recorded his statement. The DIG was questioned till late evening at Sandhu’s office at the civil secretariat. The NRI complainant has now been called on June 4.
The Punjab NRI Commission, in a parallel inquiry, is awaiting Dhillon’s reply for over two months now as the complainants had also moved the commission. Manjinder told HT that he had moved the commission after nothing moved at the level of the Patiala divisional commissioner.
“It all began in April last year when we flashed a complaint to NRI (wing) IG Gurpreet Deo from the US after receiving threats from Dhillon on phone, and getting a message from my mother-in-law that he had sent goons into her Patiala farmhouse who were intimidating her,” said Manjinder, the husband of complainant Selina Singh, currently in the US.
Manjinder, along with his wife, landed in Punjab from the US in May last year and since they have been running from
pillar to post, facing threats and appearing before the Punjab officials concerned to get justice.
Accusing Dhillon of misusing his position to influence the proceedings in their family matter pertaining to a property dispute, Selina and Manjinder alleged that Dhillon had even conspired to murder Selina’s 85-year-old mother Surinder Bual.
The couple was allegedly intimidated by Dhillon so much so that they feared entering Patiala to save Selina’s mother who was virtually put under house arrest. As a result, the couple filed a habeas corpus in the Punjab and Haryana high court for securing Bual’s release.
Selina, in her complaint, alleged that in April 2014, the DIG had dispatched a team of half a dozen hooligans to the farmhouse when her sister Poonam and her husband were visiting Bual.
“They intimidated those present at the farmhouse and my mother has repeatedly written to the Punjab Police, including the DGP, SSP Patiala and SHO Sadar Patiala, but to no avail. There has been no action,” Selina added.
Dhillon acknowledged his differences with Manjinder and Selina who, he added, were earlier his friends as he knew the family for 20 years. He maintained that the problem cropped up only when he tried to help Bual’s daughter-in-law Dr Simrat Randhawa, a widow, in the family dispute over the land.
“I do not have any vested interests but I only sided with Dr Simrat who is my distant relative, which annoyed Manjinder and Selina. Their allegations that I used my position to harm them or their interests are baseless as I have been given a clean chit by the department,” Dhillon added.
Similarly, Dr Simrat accused her sister-in-law Selina and Manjinder of manhandling her more than once. “I am a widow trying to safeguard the interests of my minor children after my husband’s death. But my sisters-in-law Selina and Poonam are trying to malign my image by dragging Dhillon, who has nothing to do with the case, into it,” Dr Simrat claimed.