The 27-year-old son of IAS officer Sanjay Popli, who was arrested in a graft case, died of bullet wound on Saturday, with Chandigarh police saying he died by suicide but family alleging foul play
The 27-year-old son of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Sanjay Popli, who was arrested in a graft case, died of bullet wound on Saturday, with Chandigarh police saying he died by suicide but family alleging foul play.
A vigilance bureau team had come to the officer’s house in connection with the investigation of the case against him and they were present there when the incident took place, a neighbour told reporters. However, vigilance officials said they had left the house before the incident took place.
Earlier this week, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau arrested the IAS officer in a graft case for allegedly demanding bribe in exchange of clearing tenders for laying a sewerage pipeline in Nawanshahr.
After verifying things, it has come to the fore that the 27-year-old “shot himself”, said Kuldeep Singh Chahal, senior superintendent of police, Chandigarh. Further investigations are on, the SSP said, adding a licensed pistol was used in the incident.
The IAS officer, meanwhile, alleged that the vigilance bureau murdered his son and that he is an eyewitness to the incident.
“I am an eye-witness, they (police officials) are taking me….my son was shot by them,” Popli was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Popli’s wife alleged that vigilance officials were “pressuring” them “to give false statements in support of the case they have registered”.
“My 27-year-old son is gone. He was a brilliant lawyer. They have snatched him. To build a false case, they snatched my son,” Sanjay Popli’s wife told reporters.
She also claimed that the vigilance officials took her son upstairs. “When I went up they were mentally torturing my son,” she said, adding, “Even our mobile phones were snatched.”
However, Vigilance Bureau DSP Ajay Kumar told reporters, “We had returned from their house after making some recoveries. We had returned with the accused.”
“Who all were part of our team, that details have been given in the Sector 11 police station here,” he said.
When asked that the family is alleging foul play, he said these are baseless allegations. “Our recovery point was not inside the house, it was in the premises. None of our team member went inside,” he said.
He also denied the family’s allegation that some team members manhandled them.
An official statement quoting a Vigilance Bureau spokesperson said they recovered over 12 kg of gold, 3 kg of silver, five high-end mobile phones, two smart watches from the storeroom of Popli’s house at Sector 11, Chandigarh.
The spokesperson said these were concealed in the storeroom of his house.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) expressed condolences over the death of the IAS officer’s son, with party spokesperson Malwinder Singh Kang saying, “We are all deeply saddened to hear about the suicide of Sanjay Popli’s son.”
The Congress hit out at the AAP government, with party’s state unit chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring saying, “Making law takes its own course & dramatising the process for vested interests that cost a precious life is unpardonable..?” “Shocking! Profound condolences & sympathies for Sanjay Popli who lost his son under tragic circumstances,” Warring tweeted.