Forged promotion orders: Mohali cyber cell inspector, dismissed sub-inspector arrested
Probing further into the forgery of orders to promote 11 Punjab Police personnel under the name of a former Punjab DGP, the Chandigarh Police have arrested a Mohali police inspector and a dismissed sub-inspector (SI).
The latest arrests include inspector Satwant Singh Sidhu, 48, currently posted with the Mohali police cyber cell, and dismissed sub-inspector Sarabjit Singh, 47.
With this, the total number of arrests has reached five, including Sandeep Kumar, 55, and Bahadur Singh, 52, both working as superintendents in the Punjab DGP’s office, and head constable Mani Katoch, 33, whose name figured in the fake promotion list.
Apart from the forged orders, a dispatch register, Sandeep’s laptop, a computer CPU, mobile phone and a car have been seized in the case.
The matter came to fore in the second week of January after an officer with the Punjab DGP office, Sector 9, Chandigarh, approached the Chandigarh Police that he had received four fake promotion orders under the forged signature of former Punjab DGP, Siddharth Chattopadhyaya.
A special investigation team was formed and all beneficiaries were interrogated. “The five accused arrested played active and vital roles in preparing the forged orders in connivance with each other,” said police.
“All accused have been sent to four-day police remand,” said Ketan Bansal, superintendent of police (SP, City), Chandigarh.
They are facing a case under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 464 (false document in the name of a fictitious person), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, or to receive any money, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, registered at the Sector 3 police station.
Meanwhile, inspector Satwant, who has been accused of helping the accused prepare forged orders, claimed that he was being falsely implicated in the case owing to professional rivalry.
Main accused at large
Police sources, privy to the case, said the main accused, Harwinder Singh, who is also among the beneficiaries of the forged orders, was at large.
Presently posted at the Sohana police station, he has not been reporting for duty. The forged order featured a special mention that Harwinder, a local-rank sub-inspector (SI), will be immediately promoted as officiating SI for good work in a blind murder case and an NDPS case registered at the Sohana station.
Collected up to ₹10 lakh from each beneficiary
Sources said dismissed SI Sarabjit approached the beneficiaries with promotion offers, claiming good relations with the DGP and also conducted a meeting at his residence to execute the forgery.
After being introduced by Sarabjit, Harwinder collected ₹5 to 10 lakh from each beneficiary, and paid ₹50,000 to Sandeep for preparing the forged promotion order and ₹20,000 to Bahadur, who visited the DGP office in the night to release it after marking it with a diary number.
Mani typed the forged orders in the laptop of Sandeep on his instructions, following which the latter and Bahadur handed over the promotion order to Harwinder, who further gave it to Satwant.
Accused surrounded by controversies
Inspector Satwant has been embroiled in controversies earlier as well. In September 2019, Satwant, who was then posted as Mohali CIA in-charge, was booked by the special task force (STF) after his name cropped up in a case regarding the illegal release of a drug supplier.
The case was lodged against SI Sukhmander Singh, then posted at Saneta police post, for letting off a drug supplier in lieu of ₹7.3 lakh.
Earlier in July 2019, Satwant, was placed under suspension after an accused in a robbery case approached the Punjab and Haryana high court, accusing him of extortion and illegal custody.
Sarabjit was dismissed from service after heroin was recovered from his house in Nayagaon by a police team from Fatehgarh Sahib. His name had also figured in the infamous Jagdish Bhola drug case.
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