The Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to look into a 2011 death related to dowry in which a woman was found shot at her house in Tarn Taran.
The high court bench of justice Mahesh Grover has rebuked the state police for their “shoddy investigation” and directed the director general of police (DGP) to take action against the lax cops. The police officers who were part of the investigation can’t be posted in Tarn Taran district as long as the CBI is on the case.
The direction is based on the petition of the victim’s father, Gursharan Singh of Amritsar, who had accused the-then cabinet minister and now Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, and Punjab deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Gurpreet Singh Dhindsa of influencing the investigation. The woman, Manik Bhinder, had married accused Sarabjit Singh in March 2011. Sarabjit’s family, which ran construction business at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), had allegedly made “consistent demands” of Tata Safari car and `50 lakh in dowry and harassed Bhinder when she failed to meet it.
On July 6, 2011, her husband left for Dubai, where his parents lived; and on July 11, the woman was found shot dead in the family’s house in Tarn Taran. The police registered the FIR (first-information report) hesitantly, but later filed a cancellation report dismissing it as a suicide case, petitioner’s lawyer Parambir Singh Goraya has pointed out.
Protest from the petitioner family forced the state government to form an SIT (special investigation team) led by a local superintendent of police (SP). Later, the case was moved to Kapurthala SP by order of the deputy inspector general (DIG), Jalandhar range; and in the end to inspector general (border range), as the petitioner alleged “cover up” when the cancellation of the FIR was recommended, Goraya has said.
A gun too long
The length of the gun used in this case was 46.5 inches. A 5-foot-two-inch woman could not have shot herself, that too in the abdomen, with such a long weapon. The barrel length alone was 30.5 inches. Which means that either she had extraordinarily long arms or had asked somebody to fire, was one of observations of the bench in open court while moving the case to the CBI.