Two Punjab police officers arrested for sex scandal

February 26th, 2008 - 11:14 pm ICT by admin  

(Second Lead)

New Delhi/Chandigarh, Feb 26 (IANS) Two senior Punjab police officials were Tuesday arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly extorting money from innocent people after threatening them of false sexual abuse charges. Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police Devinder Singh Garcha was picked up by the CBI from his Sector 22 residence in Chandigarh while superintendent of police Paramjit Singh was arrested from a place in Punjab.

Both Indian Police Service (IPS) officers have been charged with taking bribes in what has come to be known as Moga sex scandal and have been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

While Garcha was posted in Chandigarh as AIG (security), Paramjit Singh is posted as SP (headquarters) at Ropar.

“Punjab’s Assistant Inspector General (Security) Devendra Singh Garcha and Ropar’s Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) Paramvir Singh Sandhu were detained for questioning in the case and were later put under arrest in connection with the Moga sex scandal,” a CBI official told IANS.

The sex scandal came to light last year when the police arrested a couple of women for immoral trafficking in Moga town, 250 km from Chandigarh. The same women were then employed by some police officers to blackmail influential and rich people of that town after trapping them.

The women would extort money from politicians, businessmen and other rich people by accusing them of rape and sexual harassment.

The IPS officers allegedly would extort bribes from these people and let them off. Those who did not pay were sent to jail on charges of sexual harassment and rape.

The CBI searched Garcha’s residence in Chandigarh Sector 22 and other properties in Jalandhar and elsewhere in Punjab.

The properties of Paramjit Singh were also searched.

The CBI official said, “Several documents were seized during the searches.”

The investigating agency had registered a case in the scandal following directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The names of several influential individuals, including Barjinder Singh, son of former minister and senior Akali Dal leader Tota Singh, had come up during the probe.

Earlier, a Punjab police sub-inspector surrendered before the investigating agency.

Two women and a police inspector, who were arrested last year, were released on bail.

Besides the CBI, the Punjab police have been probing the matter separately. The Punjab government last month moved the Supreme Court to stop the CBI from filing a report in this matter. This was seen as a step to shield Tota Singh and his son.

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