The special investigation team (SIT) looking into the allegation of fake encounter of brothers Harinder Singh and Jatinder Singh visited their village, Bhoapur, besides Takhran Khokhran, village of accused Akali leader Gurjit Singh; and the rented accommodation at Ahluwalia Colony, Jamalpur, where the siblings were gunned down on September 27.
On Tuesday, the team led by additional director general of police (crime) Varesh Kumar Bhawra recorded the statements of the aggrieved family and villagers, and met the people who had lodged the first-information report (FIR) against the brothers about molestation and attempt to murder.
The SIT received mixed feedback about the character of the slain brothers, positive from their village, and quite the opposite from Takhran Khokhran, where people said the brothers were second name of terror in the area.
ADGP Bhawra and DIG (Ludhiana range) GS Dhillon told the media that the police will submit their report to the Punjab government. "The investigation is on without any bias,” said Bhawra. Asked why the investigation was slow, the ADGP said the SIT had collected some statements and checked the Machhiwara police record, and it would file the report after collecting all the evidence and statements.
The ADGP ducked the questions about the role of police officers, including former Khanna SSP (senior superintendent of police) Harsh Bansal, who had been suspended.
Siblings ‘terrorised’ Akali leader’s village
Two girls, one from Takhran Khokhran and the other from Iraq village, who had accused Harinder Singh and Jatinder Singh of molestation, recorded their statement for the first time when the SIT came to them on Tuesday.
They, later, told the media that the siblings and their friend Harjot Singh had stalked and harassed them in the past. The father of one of the girls said he had five daughters and had deterred the accused from harassing them. “The brothers meant terror to us. For the safety of my daughters, I used to escort them to the bus stop,” said the man.
The girls stated that on July 21, the brothers had dragged them off a bus at Machhiwara and molested them, and when they had resisted, even thrashed them. The victims had lodged an FIR.
The girls showed the media the brothers’ Facebook-account pictures of brandishing weapons and said the police should find out the source of those arms.
Harmanpinder Singh of Takhran Khokhran village also came forward to record statement, in which he has stated that the brothers’ gang had broken his leg on August 23 in an assault, after which he had lodged a case at Machhiwara.
The SIT has also recorded the statement of Harpreet Kaur, who had rented out a portion of her Jamalpur house to the brothers and their accomplices.