Punjab ex-DGP booked in 29-year-old ‘abduction’ case

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Chandigarh/Shimla   Former Punjab Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini, once considered a blue-eyed boy of militancy-era police chief K.P.S. Gill and credited with eliminating militancy in the state, has been booked in connection with the 29-year-old ‘abduction’ case of youth.

A case of kidnapping, wrongful confinement, criminal conspiracy and under other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against Saini in Mohali town on Wednesday on the complaint of Balwant Singh Multani’s brother.

The kidnapping case was related to a bomb attack on Saini by Khalistan Liberation Force militants in 1991. At that time, he was the Senior Superintendent of Police and posted in Chandigarh. He survived with injuries but his three security personnel were killed.

A Central Bureau of Investigation probe into Multani’s disappearance began in 2007 against Saini but he got the relief from the Supreme Court and the probe stopped.

Saini, who was removed from the top post by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in 2015 following incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and subsequent violence in the state in which the police force was accused of excesses that left two people dead, has not been sharing cordial relations with current Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

In fact, Saini had challenged the Vigilance Bureau’s closure report in the multi-crore Ludhiana City Centre scam involving Amarinder Singh.

For quite some time, Amarinder Singh had been seeking a probe into the fake gun battles and extra-judicial killings alleged to have taken place during militancy in Punjab.

Taking cognizance of the revelations made by a former Punjab Police constable, Gurmeet Singh, alias Pinky, wherein he had alleged in 2015 that a number of people were killed without trial during militancy in Punjab, Amarinder Singh had demanded the dismissal of DGP Saini and registration of a case against him.

Interestingly, within hours of the registration of case against him and seven other policemen, Saini and two others were denied entry into Himachal Pradesh on Thursday as they were travelling without permission amid state-wide curfew to contain coronavirus.

The former DGP called Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Divakar Sharma on the phone when police deployed at the Swarghat border, the state entry point in Bilaspur district, denied him entry.

He wanted to visit his orchard in Karsog in Mandi district.

“Since Saini was not having a travel pass, we have asked him to return,” Sharma added.

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