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Posted at: May 17, 2018, 1:45 AM; last updated: May 18, 2018, 10:01 AM (IST)

SHO of Hisar's women police station on the run

She ‘headed’ gang that honey-trapped men for money
SHO of Hisar's women police station on the run
Saroj Bala.

Deepender Deswal

Tribune News Service

Hisar, May 16

Haryana's all-women police stations, run by and for women, were set up to protect the fair sex from violence, especially gender abuse. However, Saroj Bala, the SHO of one such police station in Hisar, saw a different potential in the government initiative. Suspended on the charge of running an extortion racket, she is on the run.

Three weeks ago, her driver Surender was nabbed by the Haryana Vigilance with wads of cash. By the time he spilled the beans, the SHO had vanished. According to Inspector Dharambir Dahiya, investigations by the Vigilance Bureau revealed that Saroj Bala had hired a team of young women who would target gullible men, approach them on the phone, get intimate and call them to a hotel. Thus trapped, they would be threatened with a rape complaint. At this juncture, the SHO would step in and agree to “settle” the matter in lieu of money, at times running into lakhs.

The racket was busted on the complaint of Bhiwani resident Rajesh, a hotel manager. Contacted by a Sirsa woman on the phone, Rajesh arrived at a hotel in Hisar on April 26 to meet her. Hours later, he received a call from the SHO, saying a rape complaint had been filed against him. “I met the SHO who sought Rs 3 lakh to ‘settle’ the matter. I approached hotel owner Yogesh, who was an acquaintance. He said SHO’s driver Surender was known to him and he would settle the matter for a lesser amount. Realising that I had walked into a trap, I struck a deal for Rs 70,000. The sum was to be handed over to the SHO’s driver. Meanwhile, I complained to the Vigilance Bureau about the 'bribe' being sought by the SHO,” Rajesh said.

The Vigilance nabbed driver Surender and Yogesh on April 28 while accepting the cash from Rajesh. As Surender confessed to being part of an extortion racket, Inspector Saroj Bala and her cohorts went underground.

On Tuesday night (May 15), a 22-year-old woman, who had lured Rajesh into the trap, surrendered before the Vigilance Bureau. She accused one Anita and her partner Mahender of pushing her into the racket. “Mahender would zero in on a target and provide me his phone number. Later, Anita would lodge a complaint with the SHO, who would summon the accused and force a settlement,” she told the duty magistrate, who sent her to judicial custody for two weeks.

DSP (Vigilance Bureau) Sharif Singh said the SHO and her accomplices had been booked under Sections 217, 218 (incorrect record or writing with intent to save a person from punishment), 389 (intimidation to commit extortion), 195 (fabricating evidence to procure conviction of offence punishable with imprisonment) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC as well as the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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