Chandigarh: In a major embarrassment to Punjab Police, days after Delhi Police registered a case of kidnapping after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Tajinder Singh Bagga was picked up by the Punjab Police, the Rajasthan Police has also registered a case of kidnapping against 15 men, 14 of whom are Punjab police officials.
A 21-year-old boy named Harnoor Singh from Talera town of Bundi district in Rajasthan was allegedly kidnapped by about 15 men, 14 of them were Punjab police officials. Subsequently, the Punjab Police registered a case against Harnoor, the victim for possessing 10 kg of opium in his Verna car.
He was picked up on March 7 from hotel Clarkes Premier in Kota and the entire action was later found recorded in a CCTV footage at the time of their exit from the hotel and then subsequently, at all the toll plazas till they reached Hoshiarpur.
Later, during the investigation mostly carried out by the father of the victim along with some well-wishers, they also visited a restaurant named Shrijee where the police party along with Harnoor got down and ate food. That footage too is available. Upon reaching Hoshiarpur, Punjab Police registered a case against Harnoor. And according to the case, which was falsely registered, he was shown to have been arrested from Chak Sadhu Bajwara Chowk on Una Hoshiarpur Road with 10 kg opium in his possession.
The victim somehow called up his father
Somehow, the youth was able to procure a phone. He called up his father and apprised him that he had been kidnapped by the Punjab Police and they are allegedly seeking a ransom. The call immediately got disconnected and the phone from which Harnoor made the call was switched off.
A day earlier, on March 8, when Harnoor did not turn up home, his father had already registered a missing report at the police station in Talera, Bundi. Just then, one CIA staff member of Hoshiarpur Police Lakhbir Singh also called up the father of Harnoor saying that they had confiscated 10 kg opium from his possession.
In Rajasthan as part of the investigation, when the police tried to trace Harnoor’s mobile, iPhone, they found that it was switched off. However, they tracked the location of the phone to Rohtak, Kurukshetra and finally the location was traced to Hoshiarpur (an Apple iPhone can even be traced while it is switched off).
Harnoor’s father then filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The documents contained the CCTV footage of Harnoor Singh being forcibly taken away by Punjab Police personnel from Clarkes Premier hotel in Kota. The footage also was procured from various toll plazas which the two vehicles – Bolero and Innova – ferrying the Punjab Police personnel along with Harnoor crossed. Also, the footage at the restaurant where they had food suggested clearly that Harnoor was picked up from Kota and not from Una-Hoashiarpur Road as the Punjab Police had claimed in the FIR which was registered against Harnoor.
The High Court immediately put a stay on the trial court proceedings where the charge sheet had been submitted by the Punjab Police in a great hurry.
Names of Punjab Police officials booked
The Punjab Police personnel named in the FIR by the Rajasthan Police are Sukhdev Singh, Buta Singh, Sumit Kumar, Gurpreet Singh, Tarlok Singh, Raman Kumar, Jaspreet Singh. Also, named in the FIR is Lakhbir Singh. Others named are Gurulabh Singh, Lal Singh Gurunaam Singh, Mahesh Shankar, Aarti and PPS Vice Captain.
They have been booked under Section 365 of the IPC (kidnapping) 343 (wrongful confinement for three or more days, voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery, 120B (criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death), 115 (abetment of an offence), 167 (a public servant prepares a document in any form which in incorrect but uses it as coorect) and Section 59 of the IPC.