Dalbir Kaur, 37, widow of deceased Sukhpal Singh, a resident of Kala Afghana village in Gurdaspur district, on Monday sought chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's intervention for action against DIG (border range) Paramraj Singh Umranangal for allegedly eliminating her husband in a fake encounter around 19 years ago.
She, along with Jagir Singh, 75, father of Sukhpal; and Col GS Sandhu (retd), chairman of NGO Apna Punjab; has also filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court for shifting the six-year-old inquiry pending against Umranangal from the Punjab Police to the CBI.
The high court, after admitting the petition, has issued notices to the principal secretary home, DGP Punjab and Umranangal to file a reply by July 23.
Col Sandhu, along with the family, addressing a press conference here on Monday, claimed, "Former Punjab DGP NPS Aulakh had ordered the probe into the killing of Sukhpal, in 2007, but even after six years it has not been completed. We even met Aulakh's successor DGP Anil Kaushik, who told the DIG Ropar range to conduct an inquiry. Thereafter, there have been three DIGs posted at the range but none probed the issue. Sukhpal's family was never summoned to even record their statement."
According to Col Sandhu, a team of Punjab Police led by the then Ropar DSP Umranangal had picked up Sukhpal on August 13, 1994 from his house. A few days later, Sukhpal's family learnt that the police had killed dreaded terrorist Gurnam Singh Bandala alias Neela Tara in an encounter.
Later, on the basis of Bandala's killing, Umranangal even claimed a gallantry medal and a cash reward.
"However, to the utter shock of people, Bandala later surfaced mysteriously as he was living at his native village under an assumed identity. In 2004, the media exposed that Bandala was alive," said Col Sandhu.
The problem is that all these years, the state government and the police never tried to find out that if Bandala were alive, then who was killed in his place, Sandhu said.
"Instead of punishing Umranangal, the state government promoted him to the rank of the DIG, though an inquiry was pending against him, which is against the rules," said Col Sandhu.
Umranangal ready to face inquiry
DIG (border range) Paramraj Singh Umranangal, who is currently on leave and is visiting abroad, when contacted, said he was prepared to face the allegations in the court of law as these had not been made for the first time. "I suspect former Punjab DGP SS Virk is supporting such utterances by the family as I happen to be an investigating officer in one of the cases pending against him," claimed Umranangal.