As the district police failed to come to the Dr Mathura Dass civil hospital to get fitness certificates of the two survivors of the June 25 shootout here, the hospital authorities discharged the duo on Sunday afternoon. However, the police force, deputed at the hospital to keep an eye on them, arrested them immediately after they were discharged.
Both Gurcharan Singh alias Rinku of Channuwala village and Khushwinder Singh alias Sukhpal of Sangatpura village, who were reportedly injured in the firing, had been brought to the hospital by the team of the Chandigarh crime branch on the day of the encounter.
When they were admitted to the hospital, the Chandigarh police team had pasted a notice on the emergency ward’s wall, under the signatures of inspector Ranjodh Singh, that two people died in a police encounter while two others were injured, who were being left at the emergency ward for treatment.
The deceased were later identified as Sukhdev Singh ‘Car Bazaar Wala’ and Inderpreet Singh Gora while the injured had told their names as Rinku and Sukhpal.
The Moga police had registered a case against Rinku and Sukhpal and other four unidentified people under sections 307, 148, 149, 186 of IPC and 25, 27, 54, 59 of the Arms Act at the city south police station on the complaint of Chandigarh crime branch’s in-charge inspector Ranjodh Singh.
According to health department officials, though Rinku and Sukhpal were ‘all fit’ but the Moga and Chandigarh police were not interested to arrest them even as they claimed that the duo were wanted in two different cases.
Sources revealed that it is only after the hospital authorities took a strict stand over the ‘unnecessary admission’ of Rinku and Sukhpal in the hospital that the Moga police showed interest in arresting them. The authorities made it clear on Saturday that both would be discharged within the next 24 hours.
Dr Arwinder Singh Gill, senior medical officer (SMO), confirmed that both were out of danger.
“We waited for a response from police officials but, when they did not approach the hospital, we informed the higher police officials that both are well and we are going to discharge them,” said the SMO.
The SMO also confirmed that the hospital has not provided any fitness certificates about the current health of Rinku and Khuswinder in view of the controversies over the last two days.
“However, when the police bring them to the hospital again for medical examination, we will be able to issue fitness certificates after their check-up.
Superintendent of police (D) HS Pannu said that Rinku and Khuswinder have been taken into police custody and both will be produced in the court soon.
POLICE LOOK FOR KEY EYEWITNESS
Reliable sources revealed that the key eyewitness in the shootout case, a ‘juice wala’, has been missing since the day of the encounter on June 25. According to information, this ‘rehri wala’ used to sell fruit juice at the site where the encounter took place. It is believed that the juice seller was the only eyewitness of the encounter and could some light on the incident. Sources said that the police are trying to find out the juice seller, but without a clue so far.