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Nov 14, 2019-Thursday



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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Drug peddler let off: Relief for suspended CIA in-charge, no arrest till February

cities Updated: Sep 27, 2019 00:56 IST

In a relief for the suspended Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) in-charge, inspector, Satwant Singh Sidhu— facing arrest warrants in the case registered by the special task force (STF) against the former in-charge of Saneta police post Sukhmander Singh — the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) has granted Sidhu interim relief from arrest.

The relief from being arrested till February 5, 2020 comes with rider that Sidhu “shall join the investigation and would come present as and when called for.”

The court said that in case the STF wanted to arrest him he will be granted bail “on his furnishing personal and surety bonds to the satisfaction of the arresting officer.” This implies that he cannot be arrested till February 5 when the case comes up for hearing before the high court and the STF is expected to reply.

On September 20, Mohali court had issued arrest warrants against Sidhu after he was “nominated as accused” in the case. His named had cropped up during investigations against sub-inspector (SI) Sukhmander Singh, 49, posted in Saneta, who was arrested in July this year on charges of letting off a drug supplier in lieu of ₹7.3 lakh.

The STF had arrested Kuldeep Singh Deepa with four others with drugs in July from Sector 76, Mohali. It was during interrogation that Kuldeep told the STF that he was caught in May this year by the Mohali police before the Lok Sabha  election, however, he had paid ₹7.3 lakh to the Mohali police to secure his release.

SI Sukhmander Singh, was then the in-charge of the anti-narcotics cell, Mohali, when he had detained Kuldeep. The team took the accused to CIA, Kharar, but later he was let off. Sidhu was then posted as the CIA in-charge.

Co-accused named him

The co-accused in this case, Jyoti, who is an accomplice of Maninder Singh, alias, Shanty, and Lavepreet, alias, Lavi, had alleged that money was paid to Sidhu for Kuldeep’s release. As per the investigations, Maninder and Lavepreet had arranged the money paid to the policemen through Jyoti.

Sidhu in his plea had said that his “indictment” in the case is “on the statement of co-accused, Jyoti who is a friend of co-accused-Lovepreet.”

Sidhu said that despite joining investigations on number of occasion his anticipatory bail was rejected by the Mohali district court on the ground that the phone belonging to Jyoti is yet to be recovered. Interestingly, the court was apprised on September 16 that Jyoti’s phone has already been destroyed.