M A I N   N E W S

Hand over probe to CBI, says Daler
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 27
Punjabi pop star Daler Mehndi today joined investigations at Patiala in the human smuggling case in which he is an accused along with his brother Shamsher Mehndi on the directions of the Delhi High Court and demanded that the case should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). On the other hand Patiala Police accused him of being non-cooperative and indicated it may apply for his custodial interrogation in the case.

Daler Mehndi arrived at Patiala around 9.30 a.m. today from Delhi along with his brother Mika who travelled in a separate vehicle and two lawyers. Daler and his brother paid obeisance at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran besides getting some papers xeroxed. Talking to TNS there, Daler said a CBI probe should be ordered into the entire case as it had wider implications.

Daler set off for the Sadar Police Station before 11 a.m. as he had been directed by the Delhi High Court to join investigation in the case at 11 o clock. Daler remained closetted in the Sadar Police Station building till around 6.15 p.m. following which he drove out of the police station in his Mercedes Benz S L 320 Sports Utility Vehicle.

Earlier the police officials had a difficult time controlling the hundred-odd print and electronic media journalists who were positioned outside the inner gate of the police station. The police tried to bring out Daler on foot but when this was not possible, Daler drove out of the police station driving his Mercedes himself. His lawyer and younger brother besides a few others were in the vehicle. Daler did not talk to the media, only folding his hands in regret.

Later Superintendent of Police R L Monga, who is the investigating officer in the case, while briefing newsmen at the Sadar Station, said Daler had been non-cooperative during the day-long questioning and that the police may move an application for his custodial interrogation in the case. He said Daler had submitted his passport besides a surety of Rs 5 lakh as per the directions of the High Court. Mr Monga said Daler had been asked around hundred questions but he did not answer any of them seriously. He said Daler’s replies were patterned on the basis of the advise of his lawyers.

The police officer when asked about the nature of questions asked from Daler, said the police team had asked him to explain the passports found at the instance of his brother Shamsher and the claim of the complainants that he was a party to the fraud perpetrated on them. Mr Monga said besides this Daler was asked about the various visas he had applied for recently for members of his troupe.

He said the pop singer had however agreed that he had made some mistakes. When asked as to what “mistakes” Daler had admitted to he said “those of fraud”. He claimed Daler however asked for time to answer all the questions. The SP also claimed that the pop singer had been asked to join in the investigations again tomorrow. However he did not specify the time when Daler would arrive to join investigation in the case.

Meanwhile sources said the police besides moving for Daler’s custodial interrogation was in the process of registering a fresh case against him. However both the SSP, Mr P.S. Umranangal, and the SP denied this. The SSP said around three to four new persons had come forward to complain against Daler and his brother today claiming they had been duped by the duo on the pretext of being sent abroad as a member of their troupe.

Daler Mehndi when questioned about the claim of the SP that he had admitted to wrong-doing and fraud during questioning, said this claim was an utter lie. He said he had not admitted to any such thing. The pop singer also contested the claim that he had not cooperated with the police. “They questioned me for seven hours and I answered all their questions to the best of my ability. However I cannot admit to knowing persons whom I do not really know”, he said adding the police should answer why people were allowed to attack him in the premises of the police station.



Daler faces angry crowd

Patiala, October 27
Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi, faced an angry crowd when he reached the Sadar police station here for the investigation into the human trafficking case today.

Shouting slogans against the pop singer, the mob damaged the car by denting it with their bare hands in the presence of policemen. The 1000-strong mob also hit the car with wet plaster of paris.

“We will move the court to seek security for Daler Mehndi, myself and my colleague Anand Prakash,” Mr Ravinder Kumar said. He alleged there was a threat to their lives and properties as proved by the mob behaviour despite the presence of the police. “It took us 35 minutes to walk the 400-metre distance to the police station because of police failure to handle the mob,” Ravinder alleged.

While admitting “people’s anger” against Daler Mehndi, the district police chief told a media conference this afternoon that the police would provide full security to the pop singer and his lawyers.

On when they would apply for regular bail in a local court for Daler Mehndi as directed by the high court, Mr Ravinder Kumar said, “We have protection till November 1 from the Delhi High Court and we will apply (for bail) before it.”

Further asked if Daler Mehndi could be arrested in the second FIR lodged by the local police against him, he said, “We are not aware of any second FIR... We have high court protection till November 1 against all 31 complaints (against Daler Mehndi) clubbed together.”

But the SSP said the second FIR against Daler Mehndi was registered under Section 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Sections 506 and 186 of the IPC on a charge of offering bribe to local police computer cell in charge ASI Harjinder Singh for deleting certain information from the floppy disk seized by the police from the Delhi’s office of Mehndi brothers. Besides the 31 complaints, “we have received three or four more complaints today’’, the SSP added. — UNI


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