Vigilance to probe extortion charge against Punjab cops

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Chandigarh, April 11 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered a vigilance inquiry against five police officers, including a former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), accused of extorting money from two farmers in Sangrur district.

These officers, including former Sangrur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Inderbir Singh, have been sent to police lines pending the inquiry, the Chief Minister’s Office said.

“The Chief Minister has also ordered the removal of Inderbir Singh’s name from a panel for Chandigarh SSP’s post in view of change in his vigilance clearance status,” Amarinder’s spokesman said.

Amarinder Singh also directed for stringent action against those found guilty in the Vigilance Bureau probe.

According to media reports, the two farmers whose families raised money against land and took loans at exorbitant interest rates to pay the extortion money to the police officers were fearful for their lives.

The Chief Minister directed the officials concerned to ensure full protection to the families.

An initial probe by the present Sangrur SSP found the five police officers prima facie guilty of extorting money by threatening to implicate the two farmers in a murder case.

Sangrur SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu, in his report to senior officers, recommended registration of an FIR and a Vigilance Bureau probe against SSP Inderbir Singh, Sunam Deputy Superintendent of Police Jashandeep Gill, Longowal Station House Office Sikandar Singh, Sangrur city police post in-charge Baljinder Singh and Badrukhan post in-charge Gurmail Singh in the case.

Dhanwant Singh of Kotra Amrhu village and Harjinder Singh of Dugga village were allegedly threatened with false implication in the murder of financier Hardev Singh, 25, who was shot dead in Longowal in February by five gangsters led by Davinder Singh alias Babli Randhawa.

The two farmers said they were kept in illegal custody merely because they knew Randhawa before he became a gangster.

They said the police then extorted money from their families, to spare them from further victimisation and harassment.

–IANS

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