The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Go-slow heat on Daler cops

Chandigarh, Nov. 2: Pressure is mounting on the special investigation team probing the illegal human trafficking case against Daler Mehndi “to go slow” and allow the court to take a decision.

The special investigating team head, superintendent of police (headquarters) R.L. Monga, who had till Friday made strong statements against the singer while seeking police custody for him, yesterday merely said: “The law will now take its course.”

A senior police officer has revealed that pressure was being exerted by some ruling Congress leaders to “somehow let Daler off”.

“The immigration scandal is not confined to Punjab. Only a full-scale investigation will be able to crack it. Otherwise, the issue will soon be forgotten or drag on aimlessly like the corruption case against former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal,” the police officer said.

Punjab police also suffered a setback in the case when Patiala additional chief judicial magistrate P.S. Dhanoa yesterday issued a notice seeking a reply on November 4 to Daler’s anticipatory bail plea. The bail petition was filed by the singer’s counsel, Anand Parkash.

“We wanted Daler’s custody so that we can interrogate him on his role in sending people abroad illegally for a consideration. He has not been presenting himself before Patiala police for questioning since October 28,” a senior police officer said yesterday.

The case against the Bhangra singer was filed on October 6 following a complaint by Bakshish Singh who accused Daler, his brother Shamsher and three others of taking Rs 13 lakh from him and not sending him abroad as promised.

The singer, however, failed to appear before the police for the third time on Friday. He was interrogated for nearly 11 hours last Monday and Tuesday. But he did not turn up before Patiala deputy inspector-general of police I.P.S. Sahota who is probing his allegation that the police had demanded Rs 1.5 crore to keep his name out of the case.

The police officer, R.P.S. Anand, whom Daler had mentioned in his complaint, has been transferred to the Punjab Armed Battalion at Mohali. Police sources said Anand had also allegedly been harassing a Punjab University professor.

The police say Daler is not cooperating with them and his failure to turn up proves their contention.

But Daler’s counsel Ravinder Kumar yesterday countered this, saying: “I visited the Sadar police station late last evening with a medical certificate stating that the singer was not well, and, hence, had not been able to present himself for questioning, but no one on duty recorded my presence.” The medical certificate was submitted in court yesterday.

“We should have been allowed to take him into custody when his anticipatory bail application was moved,” a senior police officer said.

Delhi High Court has refused to extend Daler’s interim anticipatory bail, saying it would not pass any order without hearing from Punjab police.

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