Punjab: Former Akali Minister's son in custody for sex scam

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Patiala, Nov 7: The CBI Special Court on Friday, Nov 7 remanded Barjinder Singh, son of a senior ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader who is an accused in Moga sex scam, to four days CBI custody. Barjinder Singh is the son of SAD leader and former minister Tota Singh.

He appeared before the CBI Court, folowing the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court, in its order yesterday, had stated that the CBI Court would decide about the issue of his custody.

While issuing the directions, the High Court had reserved the verdict on the regular bail plea of Barjinder Singh to be pronounced on November 11.

The High Court had pronounced its order after CBI standing counsel Anmol Rattan Sidhu submitted that the custodial interrogation of the accused was essential, as certain persons have told the investigating agency that the accused was involved in extortion of money while threatening to implicate them in the sex scandal. He even prayed for grant of deemed custody, as the petitioner was present in the court.

The CBI had conducted the probe into the Moga sex scam on the orders of the High Court. The sex scandal, involving police officials, local politicians, councillors and influential persons, first came to light in June 2006, following reports in the media of Moga police extorting money in connivance with call girls.

Startling facts came out of the Punjab police closet that the Moga police and politicians used the scandal to extort money by threatening rich and influential persons by slapping sexual abuse charges against them. Inquiries revealed that rich businessmen of the district were arrested for sexually exploiting minor girls and were later released after taking bribe.

In some cases, politicians harassed their opponents using the scandal and they were reportedly assisted by lawyers who advised them on how to make a killing without getting caught.

In February, the CBI arrested former Moga SSP Davinder Singh Garcha and SP (headquarters) in Ropar, Paramjeet Singh, for their alleged involvement in the sex scandal. Garcha, part of the hockey team that participated in the Moscow Olympics, was posted at the Punjab police headquarters as AIG (security) during the time of his arrest by the CBI.

During the raid at the residences of both officers, the CBI recovered around Rs 4 lakh from Garcha's house and Rs 2 lakh in cash from Paramjeet's house.

So far, a total of around nine to ten persons have been taken into custody by the CBI, including former SHO of Moga (city-I) police station Raman Kumar, who made certain sensational disclosures about the involvement of top police officials in the scam.


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