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A cop or an extortionist?
Moga cop misused NDPS Act to extort money from chemists
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, February 4
The Moga police that has been embroiled in one controversies or the other over the past few years, facing accusations of professional misconduct, corruption and rights abuses, continues to shoot itself in the foot with another extortion racket coming to the fore.

The only difference is that in the sex scandal, the police officers extorted money from the people in connivance with call girls, this time the bucks were collected from the pockets of chemists on the pretext of registering criminal cases against them under the NDPS Act.

Many allegations of extortion by Inspector Satnam Singh, former in charge of the Moga CIA staff who was suspended from the service for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 9 lakh from a Dharamkot chemist have come to the fore.

There are more than 300 chemist shops in Moga district. Out of these, criminal cases have been registered against at least 100 chemists over the past couple of years. Most of these cases are pending in various local courts. During Satnam Singh’s tenure, 20 chemists were booked under the NDPS Act for allegedly selling psychotropic drugs.

Apaar Singh, alias Bittu, was allegedly picked up by the said officer when he went to the CIA office to enquire about his chemist brothers, Ranjit Pal Singh and Lajpal Singh. He was rescued by a warrant officer of the high court on September 23.

Family members of Bittu alleged the police official had demanded Rs 50,000 from them for releasing the three youths. Sukhdev Singh, son of Tara Singh, an employee of Ganesh Traders (engaged in medicines business), was allegedly taken into custody by Satnam Singh on December 29, 2009. Thereafter a huge sum of money was demanded for his release.

The DGP of Punjab had on May 4, 2004, categorically issued directions to all SSPs not to arrest chemists on the recovery of manufactured drugs. However, the Moga police devised the method of “recovery of mysterious powder” to register criminal cases against chemists, alleged Gopal Kishan, vice-president of the chemists association of Dharamkot.



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