Police in dock over chemist’s arrest

Cops claim arrested him from barrier, CCTV footage ‘shows’ picked up from shop

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21

A chemist belonging to Sangrur district has virtually placed the Punjab Police in dock. Seeking probe by an independent agency like the CBI, petitioner Deepak Kumar alleged that he was shown to have been arrested from a police barrier, while CCTV footage showed he was picked up from his shop.

Taking up the petition filed against the state and other respondents by Deepak Kumar through counsel Ishan Gupta, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has fixed the case for further hearing on December 17. Before parting with the case, Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi of the HC has also directed Judge, Special Court, Sangrur, to adjourn the matter beyond the date fixed by for hearing.

Appearing before the Bench, Gupta sought directions for entrusting the probe of the case to an independent agency “in view of the CCTV footage, which showed that the petitioner was illegally detained from his shop and, thereafter, falsely implicated”. Gupta also prayed to the HC to monitor the investigation.

Gupta submitted that an FIR in the matter was registered on September 21 under the NDPS Act at Sunam city police station. He added the petitioner that day was present at his shop when two police officials of the Narcotic Cell in mufti reached the spot on a scooter. A car, too, came to the shop.

They then called the petitioner and told him that the SHO present in the car wanted to meet him. From there he was bundled into the car and taken to the police station. “The entire episode was captured in CCTV cameras,” Gupta submitted.

The Bench was also told that the police officials, particulars of whom were mentioned in the impugned FIR, demanded Rs 5 lakh and kept the petitioner in illegal detention. When the petitioner refused to meet the demand, the police officials planted a false case and registered false and ante-dated FIR.

He added the registration of case under the NDPS Act had become an instrument of oppression and a weapon to traumatise, harass and humiliate the innocent. The petitioner was implicated in a false case earlier also and had been targeted again to extort money. “In the garb of narco-terror, instead of curbing the issue of drugs in the state, the police is using the legislature for their extraneous considerations viz-a-viz the demand of money,” he added.

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