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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Rape case: Chandigarh court rejects Akali leader Langah’s surrender

Tells Akali leader to go and surrender in Gurdaspur where the case has been registered.

punjab Updated: Oct 02, 2017 23:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Rape accused Akali leader Sucha Singh Langah in a Chandigarh court on Monday.
Rape accused Akali leader Sucha Singh Langah in a Chandigarh court on Monday.(HT Photo)

Four days after he was booked on charges of raping a woman constable, Akali ex-minister Sucha Singh Langah — who has been on the run since —dramatically surrendered at a local court in Chandigarh on Monday but the duty magistrate rejected his bid and asked him to go and surrender in Gurdaspur.

Clad in a spotless white kurta-pyjama and blue turban, the tainted minister was accompanied by his son Sukhjinder Singh Sonu and his son’s Chandigarh- based close friend Gunraj Singh when he arrived at the district courts complex. Since the complex was closed on Monday on account of Gandhi Jayanti, he appeared before duty magistrate Hirdejit Singh.

Curiously, Punjab Police, which had been claiming that it was conducting raids across the state for the past three days, did not reach the court complex to arrest Langah even though he remained there for a few hours. “We got the information (regarding Langah’s arrival at the court) bit late. By the time our teams reached the court to arrest him, the accused had already left. Our teams are still camping in Chandigarh,” said Gurdaspur senior superintendent of police harcharan Singh Bhullar.

Chandigarh SSP Nilambari Vijay Jagdale said since there was no communication from Gurdaspur police, and the court had also not ordered the minister’s arrest, the role of city police was restricted to just providing the Akali leader security in court.

Langah was booked by Gurdaspur police on September 28 under sections 376 (rape), 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC on the complaint of lady police employee who alleged that the Akali leader had raped her repeatedly since 2009. The lady constable has also submitted a 20 -minute video to cops.

Earlier, listening to Langah’s surrender plea, the duty magistrate cited a recent Supreme Court judgment showing his inability to accept surrender as the case pertains to Gurdaspur. Langah’s counsel HS Brar told the court that this client apprehends “danger from the state machinery” in Punjab.

The “failure” of Punjab Police to nab the former minister is seen by many as a ploy by the Congress government to cash in on the opportunity to target the Akalis in the wake of Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll slated on October 11.

“All news channels were showing Langah at Chandigarh court. How it is possible that Punjab Police, with a huge intelligence network, had no information on Langah who remained in court for over two hours?” said a senior cop.

Langah had termed the complaint as a “classic example of political vendetta perpetuated at the most political opportune moment when the by-election is underway.” The Congress has rubbished the charges.

First Published: Oct 02, 2017 15:05 IST

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