Be­hbal Kalan fir­ing: Ex-SSP, three other cops named in FIR

SAC­RI­LEGE IN­CI­DENTS Jus­tice Ran­jit Singh (retd) com­mis­sion of in­quiry still to sub­mit sup­ple­men­tary to Bar­gari re­port be­sides three re­ports on other in­ci­dents

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - News - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­

CHANDI­GARH/FARID­KOT : Un­der pres­sure from Sikh rad­i­cals and a sec­tion of Congress lead­ers, the Cap­tain Amarinder Singh-led gov­ern­ment has fi­nally or­dered to in­clude the names of four po­lice of­fi­cials in the first in­for­ma­tion re­port (FIR) reg­is­tered on Oc­to­ber 21, 2015, in the Be­hbal Kalan fir­ing in­ci­dent in which two pro­tes­tors were killed.

A gov­ern­ment re­lease is­sued here on Satur­day said the names of po­lice of­fi­cials were in­cluded in the FIR fol­low­ing rec­om­men­da­tions of the Jus­tice Ran­jit Singh Com­mis­sion that had on June 30 sub­mit­ted its re­port to the gov­ern­ment on vi­o­lence fol­low­ing the sac­ri­lege of Guru Granth Sahib in the state.

The names of then Moga SSP Cha­ran­jit Singh Sharma (now re­tired), then SP de­tec­tive, Fazilka, Bikramjit Singh, in­spec­tor Pardip Singh and sub-in­spec­tor Amar­jit Singh have been added to the FIR reg­is­tered on Oc­to­ber 21, 2015, un­der Sec­tions 302 (mur­der) and 307 (at­tempt to mur­der) and 34 (acts did by sev­eral per­sons in fur­ther­ance of com­mon in­ten­tion) of the IPC and the Arms Act at the Ba­jakhana po­lice sta­tion in Farid­kot fol­low­ing di­rec­tives of chief min­is­ter Cap­tain Amarinder Singh, an of­fi­cial state­ment said.

The move has sur­prised many as Pun­jab di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice (DGP) Suresh Arora was said to be against nam­ing cops in the FIR and he told HT on Thurs­day that the name of Cha­ran­jit and other cops was al­ready there in the FIR reg­is­tered at the Ba­jakhana po­lice sta­tion. He was not avail­able for com­ments on Satur­day.

The 2015 FIR was reg­is­tered on the rec­om­men­da­tion of a spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team (SIT) led by ad­di­tional di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice (ADGP) IPS Sa­hota. The SIT was formed af­ter the deaths of two protesters in the po­lice fir­ing at Be­hbal Kalan on Oc­to­ber 14, 2015.

The deaths re­sulted in statewide out­rage against the then SAD-BJP gov­ern­ment. Cha­ran­jit was lead­ing a po­lice party that al­legedly opened fire at the protesters.

Even as the DGP re­port­edly put his foot down against nam­ing cops in the FIR, a se­nior gov­ern­ment func­tionary said the de­ci­sion was taken af­ter se­nior Congress lead­ers, in­clud­ing some min­is­ters, said that not nom­i­nat­ing po­lice of­fi­cials in the FIR would dam­age the party’s im­age. While in op­po­si­tion, the Congress had been

de­mand­ing FIR against cops who al­legedly fired at the protesters in Be­hbal Kalan.

In ac­cor­dance with the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Jus­tice Ran­jit Singh panel, the role of five other po­lice of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing in­spec­tor Harpal Singh, the then SHO of Lad­howal, and con­sta­bles Shamsher Singh, Harpreet Singh, Gur­preet Singh and Par­min­der Singh, all gun­men of Cha­ran­jit Sharma, will also be in­ves­ti­gated, said an of­fi­cial spokesper­son.

Even as the com­mis­sion rec­om­mended reg­is­tra­tion of an FIR against po­lice of­fi­cials in the Kotkpura fir­ing in­ci­dent that also took place on Oc­to­ber 14, 2015, the po­lice reg­is­tered the case of at­tempt to mur­der against uniden­ti­fied cops on Wed­nes­day.

› Congress gov­ern­ment is play­ing vote­bank pol­i­tics. Like Akalis, Amarinder too does not want to re­veal in­volve­ment of top dera man­agers in sac­ri­lege in­ci­dents. SUKH­PAL KHAIRA, for­mer leader of op­po­si­tion

CHANDI­GARH: The Pun­jab cab­i­net will meet to an­nounce the date for the assem­bly ses­sion only af­ter the com­mis­sion of in­quiry headed by Jus­tice Ran­jit Singh (retd) sub­mits the en­tire re­port on Guru Granth Sahib sac­ri­lege in­ci­dents in the state.

The com­mis­sion, whose ten­ure ends on Au­gust 30, has sub­mit­ted its fi­nal re­port on the sac­ri­lege in­ci­dent at Bar­gari vil­lage of Farid­kot dis­trict (on Oc­to­ber 12, 2015) and the po­lice fir­ing at Kotka­pura and Be­hbal Kalan two days later that killed two Sikh protesters.

How­ever, the panel has to sub­mit a sup­ple­men­tary to this re­port on the re­ply of for­mer po­lice chief Sumedh Singh Saini, who has been in­dicted by it for the po­lice fir­ing. The re­main­ing three parts of the com­mis­sion’s re­port, which cover sac­ri­lege in­ci­dents in other parts of the state af­ter Bar­gari, are also to be sub­mit­ted.

A sec­tion of the rul­ing Congress is in a dilemma on mak­ing the re­port pub­lic as it has linked the sac­ri­lege in­ci­dents to the Akal Takht’s par­don to Dera Sacha Sauda’s Gurmeet Ram Rahim in Septem­ber that year. “Even though the dera head has been con­victed and is serv­ing life term, the dera’s vote bank is still in­tact. The Congress does not want to earn its wrath,” a party in­sider said.

But ru­ral de­vel­op­ment min­is­ter Tript Ra­jin­der Singh Ba­jwa said the re­port can be tabled only af­ter the com­mis­sion sub­mits its en­tire re­port. “The gov­ern­ment will con­vene a ses­sion af­ter it gets the fi­nal re­port from the panel,” said Ba­jwa. Ac­cord­ing to sources in the gov­ern­ment, the panel is likely to sub­mit the re­main­ing three parts within a week or 10 days.


The gov­ern­ment is also un­der pres­sure to table and act on the re­port with par­al­lel jathedars (heads) of the Akal Takht — ap­pointed at a ‘Sar­bat Khalsa’ (con­gre­ga­tion) in Novem­ber 2015 — still con­tin­u­ing their protest at Bar­gari. They had started an in­def­i­nite sit-in at Bar­gari on June 1 this year de­mand­ing that the re­port be made pub­lic.

Pun­jab chief min­is­ter Cap­tain Amarinder Singh got a breather by an­nounc­ing that his gov­ern­ment will table the re­port along with ac­tion taken on it in the House. He later an­nounced to hand over the probe into the two po­lice fir­ing in­ci­dents at Be­hbal Kalan and Kotka­pura on Oc­to­ber 14, 2015, to the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI).

But the protesters are not ready to ac­cept a CBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“What has the CBI done in the past three years af­ter it was handed over the Bar­gari sac­ri­lege probe?” ques­tioned Dhian Singh Mand, who is lead­ing the protest. “Our protest is a mor­cha (front). Devo­tees are pour­ing in ev­ery day. It can con­tinue for years till our de­mands are met. We want the gov­ern­ment to take ac­tion against the cops in­dicted by the com­mis­sion and of­fi­cially re­veal de­tails on the in­volve­ment of the dera in the sac­ri­lege.”


For­mer leader of op­po­si­tion Sukh­pal Khaira al­leged the Amarinder gov­ern­ment is shy­ing away from tabling the re­port.

“The first part of the re­port cov­ers the main in­ci­dents. Why can't the gov­ern­ment table it? The Amarinder gov­ern­ment is play­ing vote-bank pol­i­tics. Like Akalis, the Congress too does not want to re­veal in­volve­ment of top dera man­agers in the sac­ri­lege in­ci­dents,” the rebel Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said. The re­port also states that for­mer chief min­is­ter Parkash Singh Badal and his son and Shi­ro­mani Akali Dal pres­i­dent Sukhbir Badal se­cured the par­don for the dera head.

“Though the CM has so far taken a 'no-ven­detta' line against the Akalis, he can­not af­ford not to table the re­port. The anti-Badal lobby within the gov­ern­ment and the party sees the re­port as am­mu­ni­tion against them in the pan­chayat and zila parisahd elec­tions due in Septem­ber as well as the Lok Sabha polls slated next year,” a se­nior Congress MLA.

Cha­ran­jit Singh Sharma

Bikramjit Singh

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