Monday, October 20, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Daler’s mobile identified, team leaves to nab him
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 19
The Patiala police today deputed an undercover team to arrest pop star Daler Mehndi following identification of a mobile set being used by him even as it was made clear that Daler had not been declared a proclaimed offender yet.

According to sources, the team left for Delhi today in plain clothes along with a “close associate” of Daler. The associate has been taken along to guide the team to the likely places where Daler could seek refuge.

The police is using an undercover team because of the high media coverage of all earlier police teams going to Delhi. A senior police official disclosed that the police had not been able to lay its hand on documents at various premises of Daler on the first day of the raids because of the relay of the news of the impending raids.

The sources said the police had zeroed in on a Reliance mobile phone being used by the pop star. He was on the move continuously and efforts were being made to study his movements through information received from the phone company.

Senior Superintendent of Police Paramraj Singh Umranangal said efforts were also on to coordinate with the Delhi police to locate Daler.

He made it clear that Daler had not been declared a proclaimed offender in the case, as had appeared in a section of the press today. He said it was up to the relevant court to declare anyone a proclaimed offender.

Meanwhile, Daler’s brother Shamsher has been let out of police custody after 15 days. Though Shamsher was to be presented before a local court yesterday, the police failed to do so and presented him before a Duty Magistrate at 11.30 pm last night.

Shamsher’s counsel N.P.S. Waraich contended that his client had been kept in illegal confinement by the police for 15 hours. He asked the judge to take action against the officials responsible for this.

The Patiala Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, and SSP, Umranangal apprised Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of the investigations in the case last night. According to sources, the Chief Minister, while expressing satisfaction with the investigations, has asked the police to pursue the case to its logical conclusion.


Sarabhai charged with human trafficking

Ahmedabad, October 19
Close on the heels of Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi and his brother Shamsher’s alleged involvement in an immigration racket, a case has been filed against noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai charging her with conspiring to illegally send people to the USA.

A complaint was filed with the Ahmedabad police here last night against Sarabhai and her agent Dhimant Upadhyaya alleging that the duo had made false promises of sending people to the USA in April this year as members of her “cultural troupe” and of failure to refund the money to those, who were denied visa by the US Consulate-General in Mumbai.

Joint Commissioner of Police P.C. Thakur said the complaint had been sent to Naranpura police station and officials had been asked to investigate the matter within a week. An FIR was registered under various sections of IPC, including 420, related to fraud and cheating, he said.

The complaint filed by Manushi Shah on behalf of 12 others alleged that Sarabhai, Director of the prestigious Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, despite promises had not fully refunded their money after their tour of the USA and Brazil failed to materialise due to rejection of their visa applications.

The 24-member group, including these 13 “outsiders”, was supposed to participate in the “Folklore Arts in WorldFest 2003’’ in April this year under the banner of Darpana’s theatre group “Janavak”.

According to the complaint, Sarabhai had originally demanded Rs 3 lakh from each of the members for the US tour. Later, Brazil was also added to the tour and another Rs 30,000 were demanded from each of them, which they all paid by February 15 this year.

They were called to Mumbai for an interview with the US officials on April one this year. — UNI

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