An autorickshaw driver allegedly shot dead a DSP of the Punjab Armed Police over an argument about giving the cop a ride to his village. Dalbir Singh Deol, a former weightlifter and Arjuna awardee in 2000, was found dead in mysterious circumstances near Punjab’s Jalandhar on January 1. His leg was crushed and his body bore a bullet wound, the police said.
According to the police, the 54-year-old man’s body was found on a road in Basti Bawa Khel in Jalandhar, where he was posted. The location was only 8 km from his native village.
Jalandhar police commissioner Swapan Sharma said the driver, identified as Vijay Kumar, has been arrested on the basis of CCTV footage. A report published by NDTV said the driver got into a scuffle with Deol, and snatched his service weapon and shot him in the head. The cop had asked to be dropped to his village but the accused had refused to do so.
The police said Kumar is a drug addict, and they recovered Deol’s service weapon from him. The accused has been charged in cases of fighting before. “We found the body of Dalbir Singh Deol on the morning of New Year’s Day under suspicious circumstances. The place where his body was found is 6-7 km from Jalandhar. We have arrested an autorickshaw driver, Vijay Kumar, in the case,” Sharma was quoted as saying in the NDTV report.
He added: “The driver refused to drop the police officer to his village which led to a scuffle. Amid the argument, Vijay snatched the service pistol from Deol and fired on his head, leading to his death.”
The police had initially thought this to be a hit-and-run case. His friends said they had dropped him near the bus stand after a party on the night of December 31.
Initially, Deol’s family feared that this was the result of a fight the DSP had got into with people from another village in Jalandhar last month. On that occasion, he had even fired from a licensed weapon. But, no case was registered as both the parties reconciled and reached a settlement.