Daler case: police to turn heat on complainants

It is now the turn of the complainants in the alleged human trafficking case against Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi to face the music.

Punjab Police here have decided to verify the antecedents of all the complainants in this case after it failed to get most of them to join investigations.

Out of the 31 original complainants, only 12 have joined police investigations in the case.

The antecedents of all the complainants would be verified by this month-end,
district police chief A.S. Rai has said. This may also put the earlier police investigation team in the dock, he added.

There are allegations that some of the complaints are fictitious.

Daler spent nearly 10 days behind bars after the police charged him of involvement in an illegal immigration racket. He was accused of running an immigration racket, duping youths of millions of rupees.

Daler's brother Shamsher Singh was arrested in Patiala on October 5 last year. He is still in judicial custody.

The singer, who pleaded innocence right from the beginning, escaped police dragnet for nearly two months. He was finally nabbed from New Delhi on December 20 and released on bail by a Patiala court on December 30.

Another accused in the case Bulbul Mehta was granted bail by a local court Saturday.

The entire special investigation team (SIT) and the then district police chief, P.S. Umaranangal, were transferred from their posts as their handling of the Daler case became controversial.

The previous investigation team is facing a probe that it sought a bribe of Rs 15 million from the singer to bail him out of the case.

The transferred police officials have also been accused of organising the demonstration against Daler when he first appeared before them at the Sadar police station here on October 27 last year.

The singer's Mercedes sports utility vehicle (SUV) was damaged by the protestors.