Patiala, April 15, 2019: The Punjab police have registered a case against two of its two assistant sub inspectors and an informer in connection with money allegedly missing from the amount seized from a Catholic priest.
The three reportedly “vanished” with an alleged amount of 66.5 million rupees after a police team from Khanna on March 29 raided Father Antony Madassery’s residence in Jalandhar.
The police team later claimed they seized 96.6 million rupees of unaccounted cash. The police detained the priest and three others but released them after hours of interrogation on March 30.
Father Madassery, director of “Sahodaya” (rising together), a group of companies, later alleged at a press conference that the police had actually taken 166.5 million rupees from him. He claimed the money was legally collected from the sale of books in schools of Jalandhar diocese. He also alleged that the police had abducted him at gunpoint.
Punjab’s Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta on April 1 marked an inquiry to IGP, Crime, Praveen Sinha, to examine Father Madassery’s reported claims.
With no trace of the three and the missing money, even after two weeks the functioning of the Khanna police has come under the scanner, reports, trbuneindia.com. All three were booked by the Mohali under Sections 406/34 of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.
The Special Investigation Team is probing the role of the Khanna police suspected to be hand in glove with the informers.
The case brings to the fore the clout that ‘criminals-turned-cats-turned-informers’ enjoy in the police department, the newspaper says. The Khanna police are suspected to have been taken for a ride by two such informers, who helped their friends in uniform to siphon the money.
Sources say ‘cats’ Surinder and Harinder Singh Babbu, who were provided protection, would hold meetings at the SSP’s office and even issue directions to junior cops.
The First Information Report in Mohali names Joginder Singh and Rajpreet Singh along with the informer Surinder Singh of Naushera Khurd village in Pathankot.
“A team headed by Inspector Gurdeep Singh returned with (96.6 million) rupees. The two accused cops and Surinder used the Moga route and all that we know is that the cash went missing thereafter,” said Khanna Senior Superintendent of Police Dhruv Dahiya.
Asked if he had counted the cash, he replied: “I was in Bathinda heading an operation and by the time I reached back, Income Tax officials were already counting the money. We wanted to question Babbu on the missing cash but he is missing too.” Insiders say the two ASIs and informers remained in touch with the Khanna police for four days after Father Madassery raised the alarm.
“Dahiya even grilled members of the raiding team. The following day, they were also questioned by the Phillaur SIT. Instead of arresting them, they were allowed to go,” tribuneindia.com reporting its sources.
SSP Dahiya said he met Babbu through DSP Manjit Singh, who said he would help them nab gangsters. “He regularly visited my office. Not a word on his criminal links, I was simply told he had earlier worked with some SSPs and the Intelligence wing. Babbu accompanied me to Bathinda during an operation to nab a gangster while Surinder accompanied a team to Jalandhar to recover the cash.”
Insiders claim Inspector Amanpal Virk, ASI Joginder Singh, Rajpreet Singh and Ramandeep Singh were brought to Khanna during the poll code on Babbu’s asking. Even the Organised Crime Control Unit was not kept in the loop.
Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta told The Tribune that a senior team of officers was conducting an enquiry. “Whoever is at fault will be proceeded against as per the law,” he added.