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Question remains over how one tainted Punjab Police officer replaced another as SSP

Dhillon, facing probe for bribe in drug case, replaced Raj Jit in Moga.

punjab Updated: Jul 05, 2018 18:52 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Moga SSP,Kamaljeet Singh Dhillon
Kamaljit Singh Dhillon

Even as the chief minister has sought a report on credentials of the new senior superintendent of police, Moga, Kamaljeet Singh Dhillon, as his appointment created embarrassment for the government due to his past controversies, a key question remains: Who proposed his name as replacement for the drug-tainted officer Raj Jit Singh Hundal? Charges against the new SSP include that of taking Rs 40 lakh to let off three juniors in a drug case.

“During the cabinet meeting on Monday, after ministers created an uproar on the drug issue and demanded to transfer Raj Jit, Dhillon’s name was immediately given by the government to the home secretary to appoint him as replacement,” a senior functionary at the CM’s office told HT on the condition of anonymity. It is not clear if the state director general of police (DGP), Suresh Arora, was asked about Dhillon’s appointment. Efforts to contact Arora remained futile.

It is learnt that the police leadership had, in the past too, ducked political recommendations to appoint him as SSP due to his tainted credentials. But Dhillon kept on pushing his name for the job using various political and administrative routes, and was often seen visiting top officials and ministers at the state secretariat in Chandigarh.

As per a senior government functionary who too sought anonymity, rural development minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa was among those who pushed Dhillon’s name for the post of SSP. Dhillon managed to get the post after the government made the decision to replace Raj Jit.

A close friend of the minister from Batala has recently become a relative of the SSP through marriage. Political and police circles are abuzz that Dhillon earlier tried to get postings using his links in Patiala, the home turf of CM Captain Amarinder Singh, but couldn’t succeed. That was because, two days before the mass postings of SSP in June last year, reports about the police’s bureau of investigation (BoI) starting a probe into the bribe allegations against him appeared in newspapers.

Bajwa, when contacted, acknowledged that Dhillon has recently become “a relative”. “Even Raj Jit was my relative. I don’t have any role in postings of SSP, and I am not bothered what my opponents have to say on this,” he said.

Though the probe findings are yet to be made public, HT has learnt and reported that Dhillon has been indicted. The BoI initiated the probe after the then inspector general of police (Bathinda) M Chinna recommended it to the office of the DGP.

Now, as controversies about Dhillon came to the fore after his appointment as SSP, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Sunil Jakhar has also demanded to replace him. The Congress MLA from Ferozepur, Parminder Pinki, has written to the CM for it too.

First Published: Jul 05, 2018 14:17 IST