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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

IPS officer shunted out of Chandigarh by Punjab Governor is mired in controversies

As the controversy over the premature repatriation of Kuldip Singh Chahal from the post of SSP, Union Territory of Chandigarh, to his parent cadre Punjab rages, skeletons from the IPS officer’s cupboard are tumbling out.

It was during Kuldip Singh Chahal’s tenure as SSP, Mohali in 2019 a controversial FIR was lodged against gangster Mukhtar Ansari who was brought from a prison in Uttar Pradesh to Ropar Jail in Punjab where he was provided luxurious facilities in violation of norms. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has already ordered an investigation to find out the officers responsible for bringing Ansari to the state and providing him with all luxuries in jail. The case has turned out to be a major embarrassment for the Punjab government.

It also alleged that it was during the tenure of Chahal that a false FIR was registered at Zirakpur police station against Poonam Rajan and members of her family at the behest of AIG Ashish Kapoor. According to sources, who worked under Chahal, the Zirakpur SHO Pawan Kumar was allegedly summoned by Chahal to his office and directed to register an FIR based on a false complaint of Loveesh Jain. This has been proved in the Punjab Police Complaints Authority report dated November 3, 2022.

According to highly placed police sources, Chahal allegedly did this to pay back an obligation to Ashish Kapoor, the then AIG Vigilance Bureau, Mohali. Kapoor had earlier helped Chahal in Vigilance Bureau FIR number 13 of 2020.

This FIR was against naib tehsildar Varinder Dhoot and 10 others regarding a multi-crore land scandal in Majri tehsil, Mohali. Certain IPS officers were found to have bought Benami farmhouses taking advantage of the scandal and could be fixed in the case as accused, but were let go scot-free by Ashish Kapoor.

During his tenure as SSP Muktsar in 2015, Chahal, as per a petition filed by one Balwinder Singh of village Chak Uttar Singh Wala in a Muktsar court, attempted to grab a piece of his prime land on the National Highway with the support of an Akali MLA Rozy Barkandi. A false FIR was registered against Balwinder Singh and he was tortured using third-degree methods. The next date of hearing in the case against Chahal is January 2, 2023.

A complaint by a serving lady sub-inspector of police (the name is being deliberately withheld) in April 2020, was also lodged against Chahal. He was allegedly stalking the officer and inviting her to accompany him for outings through messages on her mobile phone. After she spurned the advances of SSP Chahal, he started transferring her from one police station to another to harass her, the lady officer alleged in her complaint to ADGP Gurpreet Deo. The then SSP Fatehgarh Sahib Amneet K. Kondal inquired into the complaint. But later with the intervention of an Congress Cabinet Minister of Bathinda a compromise was arrived at.

As SSP Chandigarh Chahal in January 2022 also booked and arrested Inspector Satwant Singh Sidhu on the charge that he had forged the signatures of former Punjab DGP Sidharth Chattopadhyay on some transfer orders.

This was done despite Chattopadhyay having informed the then UT SP Ketan Bansal on the phone that the signatures on the transfer orders of two policemen to CIA staff, Kharar, were genuinely his. Chahal had a grudge against Inspector Sidhu as the latter arrested some policemen close to the SSP in a bribery case without his prior permission.

There is yet another hidden story about Chahal not arresting one Parvar Nishan Singh (24) — son of AIG Sarbjit Singh of Punjab police — from who’s Rubicon jeep an unlicensed Glock pistol and 13 cartridges were recovered at a nakka set up by Chandigarh police on September 3, 2022.

AIG Sarbjit Singh, then posted in the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), was tasked to inquire into the leaking of a secret audio clip related to a sensitive anti-terrorist operation of the Punjab police on January 21, 2022, that compromised national security.

The audio clip showed the then Punjab DGP Chattopadhyay conferring about plans for the busting of Pakistan-based terrorist Rinda’s gang operating in Punjab.

The two persons with whom DGP Chattopadhayaya conferred were Inspector Satwant Singh Sidhu and Sarbjit Singh, a dismissed inspector of Punjab police. Later, Sidhu was arrested by Chahal in Chandigarh on January 18, 2022, and his phone was taken into custody. The phone had a recording of the discussion with DGP Chattopadhayaya regarding their proposed operation to bust Rinda’s gang. The audio leak took place on Jan 21 when the mobile phone was in the custody of the Chandigarh police.

Since Chahal was the SSP Chandigarh, Punjab police officials claim that he should be held responsible for the leak which compromised national security. However, in the inquiry held by AIG Sarbjit Singh, departmental action was recommended against Inspector Sidhu on the ground that he leaked the audio and no mention was made of the Chandigarh police officials who had the phone in their custody.

It is being alleged that as a quid pro quo AIG Sarbjit’s son Parvar Nishan Singh was not arrested by Chandigarh police for possessing an unlicensed pistol and cartridges in September this year.


(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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