Thursday, November 7, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pherurai disappears for six hours
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
Former SSP Gurcharan Singh Pherurai, who is facing graft charges and currently lodged in the Central Jail, kept the police on its toes after his whereabouts could not be ascertained for over six hours after an escort from the local police lines took him to be produced before a local court here this evening.

The district police went into a tizzy when a message was flashed all over the district wireless network at about 9 pm that the former cop was missing. Following this, senior officers issued directions that the district should be sealed and all offices were directed to report for the operation. All exits were sealed and special nakas were set up to look out for him. The SPs and SHOs were asked to fan out to trace the accused.

Efforts to contact senior police officers proved futile as the personal staff and family members from the SSP to the Jail Superintendent claimed that they were “in the field.” Officers in Chandigarh, when contacted, too were shocked on hearing about this development but later confirmed that his whereabouts had indeed remained unknown for more than three hours. He was finally checked into the jail at 9. 45 p.m.

Central Jail Superintendent G S Sidhu revealed that all this was the result of a misunderstanding. An escort party had taken the accused to be produced before a city court at 3. 45 p.m. The party brought him back since the investigating officer (IO) from Raikot had failed to reach on time. Even as he was being checked in, they received a message that the IO had arrived and that Pherurai should be brought back.”

He said the same party took the accused back to the court but claimed that the delay was caused due to a tyre puncture of their car. Since they were not carrying a wireless set, no communications could be established with the party leading to the panic situation, he claimed.

On the other hand, sources claimed that this explanation had been cooked up by the cops to save their skin but in reality he had allegedly remained at some unknown place and that investigations were on to determine what happened during this time. 

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