Ex-DGP booked in 29-yr-old case

Hours later, denied entry into HP | Didn’t carry valid pass

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/ Dharamsala, May 7

The Punjab Police on Wednesday evening booked former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and six other police officers in a 29-year-old case of alleged abduction, torture and stage-managed elimination of Balwant Singh Multani, son of former IAS officer Darshan Singh Multani. Hours later, the ex-DGP was denied entry into Himachal Pradesh due to lack of valid pass.

NO INTERFERENCE: CAPT

CM Capt Amarinder Singh rejected ex-DGP’s allegation of political motivation. There was no question of political interference, he said, asserting the law would take its own course. A police spokesperson said the case was filed purely on the basis of a fresh application by victim’s brother.

The FIR was lodged against Saini under Sections 364 (abduction in order to murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 344 (wrongful confinement), 330 (causing hurt), 219 (making report contrary to law) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) at the Mataur police station in Mohali on a complaint filed by Palwinder Singh Multani, brother of the alleged victim.

The others booked include former DSP Baldev Singh Saini, Inspector Satvir Singh, SIs Har Sahai Sharma, Jagir Singh and Anoop Singh and ASI Kuldip Singh.

Balwant, the victim, was accused of carrying out an attack on Saini when he was the Chandigarh SSP on December 11, 1991. He, along with Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, convict in the Delhi bomb blast case, and two others, was booked but the police later claimed Balwant escaped from the custody of Qadian (Gurdaspur) police.

DGP Dinkar Gupta and Mohali SSP Kuldeep Chahal were not available for comment, while the ex-DGP told a news portal the case was a conspiracy by the current political regime in Punjab.

In his complaint, Palvinder said his father fought for justice till his death in 2014. In 2015, a former cop, Gurmeet Singh Pinky, claimed Balwant, JE with CITCO, Chandigarh, was tortured and eliminated.

He claimed the cops wanted to know Bhullar’s whereabouts and his brother was allegedly beaten up and tortured, leading to his death in police custody.

It was, however, officially claimed he escaped from police custody in Qadian, he said.

Meanwhile, Saini and two others tried to enter Himachal from Swarghat area of Bilaspur district around 4 am today, but were not allowed in. Bilaspur SP Divakar Sharma said Saini was denied entry as he did not have a valid pass. Saini rang up the Naina Devi DSP as well as him requesting passage to Charkhari village in Karsog subdivision of Mandi, where he had a house, the SP added.

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