Punjab vigilance arrests Mohali DFO, contractor for corruption
Complainant lodged a complaint on the chief minister’s anti-corruption helpline, saying they were demanding bribe for favouring him in certain projects
The Punjab vigilance bureau on Thursday arrested Mohali district forest officer (DFO) Guramanpreet Singh and a private contractor, Harman Hummy alias Lucky, on graft charges.
The vigilance arrested the DFO from his house in Sunny Enclave, Kharar, while Lucky was arrested from his house in Sector 36, Chandigarh.
The arrests were made after World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) senior director Devinder Singh Sandhu lodged a complaint on the chief minister’s anti-corruption helpline, saying they were demanding a bribe for favouring him in certain projects.
In the complaint, Sandhu said the forest officer approached him on multiple occasions, through various mediums, to demand bribes.
“After I resisted giving the bribe, he got a false complaint lodged from forest range officer (RO) Ranjodh Singh at Nayagaon police station on April 24, 2022, for violations of the Punjab Land Protection Act (PLPA),” he said, adding that he carried a video recorder to an April 30 meeting with the DFO to expose him.
“Over the next few days, on the directions of conservator of forest Vishal Chauhan, Singh also asked me to pay ₹1 crore upfront to them for the farm project. Thereafter, ₹10 lakh on a monthly basis and also ₹5 lakh for sale of each land parcel/farm was sought,” alleged Sandhu, who maintained that he was in no way violating Section 4 of PLPA as his land was agricultural.
Sandhu had claimed that he had uploaded the video sting as evidence on the Punjab CM’s anti-corruption helpline.
On May 9, police booked Col BS Sandhu (retd), the managing director of WWICS, and his aide Tarsem Singh for building illegal farmhouses at Masol village. The FIR was registered under Section 4 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act after they were found levelling forest land illegally to develop farmhouses, Fair Heavens, on around 100 acres.
Vigilance bureau SSP Gaganjit Singh said that the arrests of the DFO and the private contractor were made after verifying the complaint and video.