| Protesters block Daler’s car on his way to the police station. (PTI)
Chandigarh, Oct. 27: Stones, rotten eggs and tomatoes rained on Daler Mehndi’s car as the Bhangra pop star made his way to Patiala’s Sadar police station today.
Granting him interim bail in a human trafficking case on October 23, Delhi High Court had asked Daler to present himself today for interrogation.
Patiala police had registered a case earlier this month against Daler, his brother Shamsher Singh Shera and three others after a resident of Belwara village in the district complained that he was cheated by the duo who had promised to send him abroad. Bakshish Singh alleged that he paid Rs 13 lakh out of the Rs 15 lakh demanded by Daler and Shamsher, who is now in judicial custody, but was not sent abroad. Patiala police have since received complaints from over 30 others against the brothers.
The crowd outside the police station today included political activists who waved black flags and attacked Daler’s car. Family sources said it took the singer nearly 40 minutes to wade through the “mostly abusive” crowd.
“Many of those present outside the police station were political activists belonging to the Congress. That is why Daler has asked for a CBI probe into the human trafficking issue,” said a relative over phone, seeking anonymity.
“I have done nothing wrong and demand a CBI probe into the issue. This is not a small issue and only a CBI probe will lead to the involvement of big names that people cannot even imagine,” asserted a confident Daler in a pink turban at Dukh Niwaran Sahib Gurdwara where he paid obeisance, along with singer brother Mika, before going to the police station.
Fearing that the crowd would enter the police station and create trouble, Daler was whisked into an ante-room where superintendent of police (headquarters) R.L. Monga interrogated the singer on his role in the estimated Rs 1,000-crore human trafficking in the state.
Police sources said the interrogation, which lasted for more than six hours and ended after 6 pm, related to documents and data in the computer seized from Daler’s Delhi residence and office allegedly showing his involvement in human trafficking by taking people to the UK, the US and Canada as part of his musical troupe. The singer was also questioned about passports seized from his Delhi office.
Patiala superintendent of police Paramraj Singh Umranangal denied that Daler had been arrested. “At the moment, we are questioning the singer on the number of people that he may have helped immigrate illegally,” said the police official. “Daler is cooperating,” he added. The questioning will resume at 2 pm tomorrow.
But Monga, who questioned the singer, was dissatisfied. “Daler chose not to answer most of the questions. We will oppose any further extension of bail,” he said over phone.
Daler refused to elaborate on the questions. “It was nice,” he said.