Punjab Police top brass unlikely to bury the hatchet

Court hearing on April 23: State advocate general is to file a reply on Chattopadhyaya’s charges; DGP (HRD) will also have to prove his allegations.

punjab Updated: Apr 13, 2018 09:59 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab Police,Police top brass,Police infighting
Top: Suresh Arora, DGP, Punjab police chief (left); Harpreet Sidhu, ADGP, special task force (centre); S Chattopadhyaya, DGP, human resource development (right); and bottom: Raj Jit Singh Hundal, senior superintendent of police, Moga (left); Dinkar Gupta, DGP, intelligence (centre) and Mohd Mustafa, DGP, human rights commission.(HT Photo)

Even as Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh issued a clear and stern warning to police top brass to maintain discipline or face the sack, a resolution of the issue out of court is unlikely. The focus now shifts to the Punjab and Haryana high court on April 23, when it will hear the stand of the government on the issue of DGP (human resource development) S Chattopadhyaya’s allegations against two officers, including the state DGP. The advocate general has to file a reply.

Last week, the turf-war among the top brass of the police had come out in the open, with Chattopadhyaya alleging, in an application before the Punjab and Haryana high court, that DGP Suresh Arora and DGP (intelligence) Dinkar Gupta had been trying to drag him into the suicide case of Inderpreet Chadha, son of a former president of a century-old charitable-cum-educational body Chief Khalsa Dewan.

Chattopadhyaya, who is leading a SIT that the high court has formed to ascertain the role of Moga SSP Raj Jit Singh Hundal in drug case related to dismissed Punjab Police inspector Inderjit Singh, had also accused the two DGP-rank officers of “being involved in”, and “targeting” him in order to “disable” him from conducting an inquiry into the case.

Must read | Who’s at war within Punjab Police

Following Chattopadhyaya’s strong accusation, the high court had stayed investigation of Chattopadhyaya’s role in the suicide case and sought the state government’s stand.

LK Yadav (IG crime), heading the SIT into the suicide case, had sent two questionnaires to Chattopadhyaya claiming that his name had figured in the suicide note of Chadha. The Yadav-led SIT had also sent the questionnaire to an ADGP rank officer whose name also figured in the “suicide note”. This ADGP has filed a reply, claiming to have had no role in the suicide.

“If the ADGP has filed the reply to the questionnaire, why is the DGP (HRD) worried,” questions an SIT member claiming that their probe was fair.

Another top rank official of the Punjab Police questions, “How will truce happen? Chattopadhyaya has leveled serious allegations against the two DGPs and there hardly seems any possibility that he will withdraw from these charges.”

Immediately after the CM’s dressing down, Chattopadhyaya reportedly paid a visit to the house of former state DGP Sumedh Singh Saini at his residence in Sector 16.

Both sides to prove point in court

The SIT probing Chadha’s suicide case, however, is claiming that there are enough reasons to show to court that sending the questionnaire to Chattopadhyaya was justified. “Now, the focus of both sides will be to prove their point,” said a senior official. With the CM extending his support to the leadership of DGP Suresh Arora, it’s not going to be smooth sailing for Chattopadhyaya. He has also alleged that during the course of probing Raj Jit’s role in the drug case, he is also investigating a “Benami property” of a DGP situated in Chandigarh. “Chattopadhyaya has to prove his allegations in court. As he is a senior cop, he would have thought of the repercussions of these allegation leveled in court,” said another official, having sympathies with DGP (HRD).

Chattopadhyaya meets ex-state police chief

There was enough indication that the turf-war will continue, even on Wednesday, after the CM gave his message to the DGPS and the ADGPs. Immediately after the CM’s dressing down, Chattopadhyaya reportedly paid a visit to the house of former state DGP Sumedh Singh Saini at his residence in Sector 16. Saini, now DGP (housing corporation), and had not attended the meeting with the CM. Though what transpired at this meeting with Chattopadhyaya is not clear, it created a lot of buzz at the police headquarters.

First Published: Apr 13, 2018 09:38 IST