A 26-year-old son of Indian Administrative Service officer Sanjay Popli, who is under arrest in a corruption case, died of bullet wounds on Saturday, NDTV reported.
While the police claimed that Kartik Popli died by suicide, his family alleged he was killed by officers of the state vigilance bureau.
The incident took place in Chandigarh around 1.30 pm when a team of the Punjab vigilance bureau had arrived at Sanjay Popli’s home in Sector 11 to conduct a search, reported The Indian Express.
The police claimed that Kartik Popli killed himself on the first floor of the house. He was a law graduate.
Preliminary investigation suggested that he died of suicide, the police maintained.
“We have started an investigation,” an unidentified Chandigarh Police officer said. “We will record the statements of family members of Kartik, who accused Punjab vigilance officials of having shot him.”
Senior Superintendent of Chandigarh Police Kuldeep Chahal said that the IAS officer’s son used his father’s licenced gun to kill himself, NDTV reported.
However, Kartik Popli’s mother alleged foul play.
“Bhagwant Mann has killed our son,” she claimed. “The vigilance team was here in our residence and they killed my son.”
She said her husband was scheduled to be produced before a court on Saturday, The Tribune reported.
“The vigilance people took Kartik upstairs and when I went up they were mentally torturing my son,” she alleged.
Sanjay Popli was arrested on June 20 in a corruption case for allegedly demanding bribe in exchange of clearing tenders for laying sewage pipe. The state vigilance team had seized a cache of cartridges from his home, reported The Indian Express. A case was also registered against him under the Arms Act.
Popli was the chief executive officer of the Punjab Sewerage Board. In May, he was made director in the pensions department with the Punjab government.
Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Warring expressed shock over the incident.
Meanwhile, Ajay Kumar, deputy superintendent of police, Punjab Vigilance Bureau, said the incident is being investigated, ANI reported.
“But these allegations are baseless,” he said. “We just went there to make a recovery of items. We didn’t even step inside the house. We only learnt about the incident later on.”