Former Punjab DGP arrested over corruption charges


New Delhi/Chandigarh : Former Punjab Police chief S.S. Virk was Sunday morning arrested in New Delhi for amassing assets “worth Rs.1 billion” through corrupt means.

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Virk, who was DGP of Punjab Police till January, was taken into custody from the Maharashtra Bhavan in the capital. Virk is a serving DGP rank officer in Maharashtra police.

Punjab Police officials confirmed Virk’s arrest and added that he was being brought to Chandigarh for further investigations. They claimed that the DGP had properties worth Rs.1 billion that was disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Virk is the second senior functionary and close aide of former chief minister Amarinder Singh to be arrested ever since the Akali Dal came to power in Punjab.

Earlier, Bharat Inder Singh Chahal, former media adviser to Amarinder Singh, was arrested for cases ranging from attempt to murder, land grabbing, intimidation and amassing disproportionate assets worth nearly Rs.10 billion.

Virk, who got plum postings in the Amarinder Singh government between 2002-07, was made DGP of Punjab Police over two years ago. He was considered extremely close to the former chief minister.

He was removed as Punjab DGP on the orders of the Election Commission just a month before assembly polls in Punjab in February.

The vigilance wing of the Punjab Police had registered the corruption cases against Virk soon after the Akali Dal government led by Parkash Singh Badal came to power.

Virk, who was on deputation with Punjab Police for many years, was suspended by the Akali Dal government in May. However, despite his suspension, Virk secured his repatriation to his parent cadre Maharashtra.

His repatriation, termed as illegal by the Badal government, left the Punjab administration fuming. He was accused of amassing huge properties and even charged with cheating a woman in buying land near Chandigarh at prices much lower than the market price.

A sprawling farm owned by Virk’s brother near Chandigarh was cleared by the Amarinder Singh government as a mega-investment project in December 2006. The government agreed to give concessions worth Rs.2.5 billion for the Rs.6.5 billion project.

Virk had earlier been charged with colluding with a former extremist Sukhi of Jalandhar. Sukhi, who turned police informer, was declared dead in police records and was helped by Virk to lead a new life under an assumed name.