Timely police action could have averted the murder of assistant sub-inspector of police Ravinder Pal Singh.
Not only did the Chehhertta police fail to take action on the sexual harassment complaint filed by Singh’s daughter on December 1, they also failed to turn up after the crime — giving a chance to the assailants to come back and shoot Singh a second time.
Singh was gunned down in broad daylight on Wednesday, 50 m from the Chehhertta police station, when he tried to take on the men who had been harassing his daughter.
His three assailants — including Ranjit Singh Rana of Akali Dal who was arrested on Thursday — first shot Singh on the feet with a pistol. Twenty minutes later, they brought a rifle and shot him in the chest.
“My daughter was teased regularly but nobody took her complaint seriously,” said Singh’s wife Paramjit Kaur.
After the shooting, despite frantic calls by the locals, no one from Chehhertta came to help. It was policemen from Gharinda, around 25 km away — with whom Singh was posted — who reached half-an-hour later. By then, Singh was beyond help.
“I have never seen such a bloodbath. No cop turned up to help their colleague,” said Shiv Kumar, a resident.
“Policemen from Gharinda came, but nobody turned up from Chehhertta.”
“Had the residents not come forward, the girl, who sustained splinter injuries, could also have been killed,“ said another witness.
The locals pelted stones at the accused, forcing them to flee.
“After he (Rana) shot my father with his rifle, my father collapsed,” said Singh’s daughter.
“Rana then kept kicking and hitting us in full public view. I pleaded for help, but everyone ran away. Even when the ambulance came, I had to lift my father into it as no one came to help. Bring Rana before me. I will shoot and kill him the way he killed my helpless father.”