Facing probe over PM security breach, DGP Chattopadhyaya in eye of storm again

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Facing probe over PM security breach, DGP Chattopadhyaya in eye of storm again
Chandigarh: Punjab DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyaya, a 1986-batch IPS officer, who is facing probe for the Prime Minister’s major security breach in Ferozepur, is again in the eye of the storm — now for “taking orders from criminals” while working as the police chief.

Leaked audio tapes of Chattopadhyaya’s purported conversation with a dismissed cop Sarabjit Singh, a proclaimed offender in the multi-crore drug racket, have put him on the spot.

It is learnt that Sarabjit Singh gave ‘instructions’ to Chattopadhyaya for appointments in the name of cracking whip on drug cartels, shifting notorious prisoners and also for posting certain officials on sensitive postings to recover explosives delivered from Pakistan.

Interestingly, hours before the model code of conduct for assembly elections came into force on January 8, the Congress government replaced Chattopadhyaya, who assumed additional charge as Director General of Police (DGP) on December 17 last year, with 1987-batch IPS officer Viresh Kumar Bhawra as the state’s DGP.

Sensing sensitivity over the issue, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Badal has sought a first information report (FIR) be registered against Chattopadhyaya for taking orders from criminals.

He said the tapes proved that the DGP was working in league with drug smugglers. He said a tape had surfaced which had the DGP talking to a proclaimed offender in the Bhola drug case.

“During the course of this conversation the PO instructed the DGP regarding transfer and posting of certain police officers, shifting of notorious prisoners from one jail to another and creating an illegal detention centre in Mohali,” the SAD chief said in a statement.

Asserting that Chattopadhyaya’s cordial relations with drug baron Jagdish Bhola were now also out in the open, the former Deputy Chief Minister said, “It is now also clear that this police officer was working in league with drug smugglers as well as well as tainted police officers. Due action should be taken against him as per law.”

Badal said now it was also clear as to why Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had gone out of his way to appoint Chattopadhyaya as the state DGP even though he was not eligible to hold this post.

“Channi is also mixed up in these illegal activities which were also proved by the huge recovery of cash and gold from his nephew’s house. It is also clear that he was privy to Chattopadhyaya’s affairs and due action should also be taken against him,” he said.

Badal also questioned why Pradesh Congress President Navjot Sidhu was silent after the damming evidence against an officer who was personally chosen by him to register false cases against the top Akali leadership.

“Sidhu should explain why he allowed an officer who was earlier also known to pursue personal vendettas to lead the state police and why he kept quiet about the illegal activities of Chattopadhyaya,” he asked.

The SAD President demanded an impartial probe into the tape recordings which had come in the public sphere.

“This case has far reaching consequences vis-a-vis the drug trade in the region. Besides the DGP and his political masters, there are a number of other black sheep who are involved in drug trafficking. They should also be identified, booked and put behind bars after a thorough probe.” he added.


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