The Sonepat police’s mistake in identifying a gangster cost the lives of a youth, Ravinder, and a constable Pradeep Kumar during an alleged encounter.
The blunder of the police came to light in the dying statement of Ravinder, who died in a private hospital at Gurgaon, two days after he received multiple bullet injuries in the alleged encounter.
In his statement, Ravinder (30) of Pugthala village of Soenapat district, said, “Police officers blocked our way on the SonepatGohana Road and started firing on us. A bullet hit me in the leg and I tried to run, but they caught me and said that I am gangster Ravinder. I told them that they are mistaken and I am not gangster Ravinder they are looking for, but they did not listen and fired another bullet on me”, said Ravinder, in his video-graphed statement in the hospital.
“The police officers also hit me with a brick,” he added.
The police had alleged that Ravinder and his friend started firing on them and in the ensuing encounter, constable Pradeep was killed.
However, Ravinder said that the police opened fire first and they only fired in self defence.
When contacted, Sonepat SP Abhishek Garg said, “Prima facie, it seems to be a case of mistaken identity, but the police officers had got secret information about the gangster Ravinder”.
The SP, however, denied that the first bullet was fired by the police and said, “Ravinder had fired on the police first and by denying it, he might have tried to prevent himself from charges of murdering a police constable”.
Asked as to what action would be taken against the erring police officers, he said, “As of now, there is no evidence to prove the police officers guilty. The probe is on and action will be taken if they are found guilty”
Meanwhile, an officer of the Sonepat police told Hindustan Times that the police officers were in civil dress at the time of the incident and they were looking for another Ravinder of Pugthala village, but the deceased became a victim of mistaken identity.
Family members of deceased Ravinder have accused the police of killing Ravinder without any fault of his. “Now, there is no one to take care of his two children and wife. The duty of the police is to protect people, not to kill them without any reason,” said Balwan Singh, a relative of the deceased.
On August 21, Pradeep, a constable of Sonepat police, was killed and Ravinder had received bullet injuries in an alleged encounter after police the stopped Ravinder’s car on the Gohana-Sonepat road.