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Long arm of law ‘loses’ policeman’s medal letter

- DSP who stepped up heat on Sahay brothers in last year’s mayor poll scam accuses his boss of sabotage

A boss who doesn’t like you and is out to wreck your CV. Sounds familiar?

Well, if one were to believe Ranchi city DSP P.N. Singh, the DIG of Chotanagpur range Praveen Kumar Singh is one such boss.

Both men in uniform who share a first-name initial and surname did not see eye to eye over investigations into last year’s Ranchi mayoral election where Congress-backed nominee Rama Khalkho was accused of trying to buy votes.

Now, DSP Singh has accused the DIG of scuttling his nomination for President’s medal for distinguished service awarded on Independence Day.

Police headquarters sources said the DSP even wrote a letter to DGP Rajeev Kumar in which he alleged that the DIG was deliberately delaying the forwarding of his nomination to the DGP’s office.

“I fear he (DIG) is doing all these things out of reprisal since I had refused to obey his orders to reinvestigate the cash-for-vote case,” the DSP has written in the letter.

“I will personally look into this matter,” DGP Kumar told The Telegraph.

Every year, top police brass across states recommend names for medals to Union home ministry to shortlist eligible claimants. On May 21, Ranchi SSP Prabhat Kumar, on his part, had nominated two policemen of DSP rank Naresh Sharma (for meritorious service) and P.N. Singh (for distinguished service). On June 16, the SSP office’s routed this recommendation to the DGP through the office of DIG. On June 17, the DIG forwarded DSP Sharma’s nomination to the DGP’s office but DSP Singh’s paper on hold without citing a reason.

This struck many in the police brass as odd. Technically, the DIG’s role is limited to forwarding the recommendation to the DGP only.

Earlier, DIG Singh served DSP Singh a showcause when he bluntly refused to reinvestigate the case. DSP Singh accused DIG Singh of putting pressure to “dilute” the case and oblige high-profile accused such as Khalkho and Sunil Sahay, younger brother of former Ranchi MP and Congressman Subodh Kant Sahay.

Last year in April, Ranchi police and IT department seized Rs 21.90 lakh from a city hotel 17 hours before mayoral poll. Police claimed the cash was meant to influence voters and cited the involvement of the Sahays and other Congress leaders. The Election Commission cancelled the poll.

Khalkho, Congress leader Niranjan Sharma and his aide Sudhir Sahu were named accused. Khalkho, who surrendered in June 2013, got bail from Jharkhand High Court after six months. Sunil Sahay and one Santosh Singh, a close aide of the senior Sahay, were also named as accused. Ranchi police this February applied for an arrest warrant against Sunil before special vigilance court, which is still pending.

Khalkho, who lost this year’s mayoral poll finishing a poor fourth, was seen as a heavyweight last year. After the Lok Sabha debacle, the Congress is also seen as a spent force.

But in the ongoing investigations in the Khalkho case since last year, as the net was tightening around high-profile accused, DSP Singh was mysteriously removed twice from the case, the finger of accusation pointing at then MP Sahay. The DSP was reinstated as high court and Election Commission intervened.

But DIG Singh, reviewing the case this April, directed “reinvestigation” on the grounds that it was built on mere “suspicion”, “assumption” and “imagination”. The DIG said some “innocent” persons had been wrongfully charged.

DSP Singh dug his heels and refused to listen to the DIG.

DSP Singh is not a run-of-the-mill policeman. He has won the President’s medal for meritorious service in 2008, an appreciation letter from Bihar government for controlling riots in Ranchi in 1990, an all-India police competition award in 1988 and Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Award as best policeman in 1982.


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