New Moga SSP was indicted by probe panel in graft case
The appointment of Kamaljeet Singh Dhillon as Moga SSP by replacing controversial officer Raj Jit Singh is likely to land the Punjab government in further embarrassment as the officer had been “indicted” by a probe panel that looked into allegations that he received Rs 40 lakh to “let off” three junior cops in a drug case.
The Bureau of Investigation (BoI) of the Punjab Police had initiated a probe against Dhillon in June last year after then inspector general of police (Bathinda) MS Chinna recommended to the office of Punjab DGP that a probe be ordered against Dhillon for taking Rs 40-lakh bribe when he was Moga SSP earlier.
The accused cops were dismissed from service initially but the district police later filed a cancellation report in the case.
“In our probe, Dhillon’s role was found to be dubious in the case and the officer was indicted in the matter. Detailed findings of the probe were also sent to the DGP office in January this year for his approval and further action. Since then, the status of the file is not known,” a senior official of BoI told HT.
As per procedure, before initiating any departmental probe, the approval of the DGP office is required.
A senior Punjab police official said Dhillon used his political clout within the Congress to put the probe on the backburner.
The inquiry into the allegations against Dhillon was led by IG LK Yadav, who did not comment on the issue despite repeated attempts by HT.
When the recovery of 168 kg of poppy husk was made from the accused in the case, proper videography of the seizure was done in the presence of two witnesses — then Moga SP (traffic) Gurmeet Singh and inspector Amarjit Singh. But the police did not file a challan within 180 days and the accused were let off in the case.
The three accused — ASI Jarnail Singh, head constables Jasbir Singh and Davinder Singh — were posted at the Nathuwala police post when the recovery was made from them in September 2013.
“It was a case of blatant corruption in a case of drug peddling,” the IG (Bathinda) had noted while quoting two DIGs — Ranbir Singh Khatra and Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill — who also agreed that the accused were let off in a dubious manner. They too said the accused cops had given a statement that they paid the bribe.
ASI Jarnail Singh alleged that he paid Rs 40 lakh to Dhillon for delaying the challan and filing a cancellation report. He said he later got his money back with the intervention of some influential persons.
IG Chhina also reopened the “ignored” complaints against the SSP and in his report to the DGP, cited the statements of the accused cops who reiterated that they paid money for relief. Dhillon will now head the Moga district where the file of this case is kept.
Dhillon on extension
Notably, Dhillon has already completed his tenure and is on extension of two years. His extension is also going to end in November this year, said officials at the police headquarters.
“In such a scenario, what compelled the government to post him as SSP defies all logic. Is police department short of good officers?” asked a senior political functionary of the government.
Despite various controversies and allegations surrounding him, Dhillon has managed to get plum postings throughout his career.
Dhillon was not available for comments despite HT’s repeated attempts. On Monday, he told HT that his name was cleared in the BoI probe.
Amarinder seeks report
Meanwhile, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said he had sought a report on the allegations against the new Moga SSP.
He stated this before an AAP delegation which met him and cited media reports about the controversies related to the SSP. Sources said a powerful minister from Majha region, who is calling shots these days, had recommended Dhillon’s name for the post. This minister has recently become a “relative” of Dhillon.