Drug case: Dismissed inspector cries frame-up, seeks action against STF officer for ‘destroying’ footage
Inderjit, who was nabbed by the STF from Jalandhar with 4 kg of heroin on June 12 last year, alleges that the drugs were “planted” on himpunjab Updated: Jan 09, 2018 22:31 IST
A new row has started in the high-profile case of drug recovery made by the anti-drug special task force (STF) of the Punjab police from the since-dismissed inspector Inderjit Singh. He has on January 2 moved an application in the Mohali court seeking action against the investigation officer (IO) for “destroying” the CCTV camera footage and other electronic record of the case.
Inderjit, who was nabbed by the STF from Jalandhar with 4 kg of heroin on June 12 last year, alleges that the drugs were “planted” on him. He had on June 22 moved an application in the Mohali court for preservation of different CCTV footages of the police action against him from the period between June 11 and 15. The court agreed and ordered preservation of the data.
However, on December 6, when the STF was asked to produce the CCTV footages in the court, the IO Mukhwinder Singh told the court that the footages were not available. The fresh application by Inderjit has a document attached in which Mukhwinder has submitted in writing to the court on September 9 that “the court orders to preserve the CCTV footages have been fully complied with”.
The data included — as per orders of the court of chief judicial magistrate, Mohali — footage of cameras installed at the crime investigation agency (CIA) office, the office of a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and at a Suvidha Centre at Phagwara, besides at a toll barrier at Ladowal near Ludhiana and at Police Lines in Jalandhar. The court, as sought by Inderjit, had also asked to seize and preserve recordings of the CCTV surveillance system from his house in Kishangarh Colony, Amritsar, for the same period. He even asked to preserve data of the mobile phone tower location of the raiding party.
But, on December 12, the STF submitted a letter by the DSP of Phagwara saying no CCTV camera was installed at some establishments covered under the order. It said the system at the DSP’s office preserved only 13 days of footage, hence the data could not recovered.
According to the FIR registered by the STF, cops raided Inderjit’s house at Police Lines, Jalandhar, early morning and recovered various rifles, a pistol, a revolver and over 800 live cartridges; besides 4 kg of heroin from his government quarters at Phagwara. He was booked under various sections of the IPC, Arms Act and NDPS Act.
Already, there were allegations on the STF that the investigation report was tampered with.
The case, in which the name of Moga SSP Rajjit Singh also appeared, recently got limelight also after the SSP moved the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking transfer of the probe from the STF head, additional director general of police Harpreet Sidhu, as he was “biased” against him. With the state government also siding with Rajjit through its advocate general, the court transferred the case to a special investigation team led by DGP S Chattopadhyaya.
Mukhwinder was not available for comment.
The court has issued a notice to the STF with January 11 as the next date of hearing.