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Punjab chief minister orders inquiry into scribe's arrest

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | August 29, 2005 16:01 IST
Last Updated: August 29, 2005 17:50 IST

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh on Monday ordered an inquiry by Home Secretary A K Dubey into the incident that led to Indian Express correspondent Gautam Dheer's arrest from his residence on Sunday night.

Dubey will submit his report within three days.

Singh gave this assurance to a delegation of Chandigarh-based journalists who called on him on Monday morning.

J S Sidhu, president of the Chandigarh Press Club, told over the phone that the journalist community was shell-shocked by the incident.

"Two hundred journalists took part in a protest march to the venue where the chief minister was addressing a public gathering.

The CM promised prompt action against any police official found protecting the land mafia in Punjab and assured the journalists that the Punjab government will not oppose Dheer's bail application when it comes up in court," Sidhu said.

The name of Punjab's Inspector General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini has been figuring in the controversy.

Dheer had filed a damaging report against Saini based on a complaint filed against him with the state human rights commission, which appeared in the Chandigarh edition of the Indian Express on Sunday.

Late that night a team from the Punjab police entered Dheer's residence took him away. Dheer has been slapped with charges of criminal conspiracy under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, Section 506 (dealing with intimidation), and Section 8A of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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