The Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered immediate transfer of district magistrate (DM), superintendent of police (SP) and deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Kurukshetra, in connection with the mysterious death of a Sarahanpur Muslim youth, allegedly killed by Gau Raksha Dal, a right-wing vigilante group.
In the detailed order made available on Tuesday, the high court bench of justice Fateh Deep Singh directed the director general of police, to ensure that the CBI was provided with requisite infrastructure support and stated that CBI was at liberty to register a fresh FIR in which it could look into the roles of local police including the SP as well as the DM and their subordinates, who “dubiously have looked the other way round throughout”.
Besides the transfer of DM, SP and DSP, the HC has also ordered transfer of station house officer, Shahbad, Kurukshetra to a far-off place and ensure that they are not given postings where they could wield influence in the investigations and intimidate the witnesses, They have ordered not to be posted in the area till the conclusion of the trial.
The case was handed over to CBI on Monday.
The youth’s decomposed body was found by Kurukshetra police on April 2, following which FIR was registered. The youth, Mustain, who had left his home in Saharanpur, on March 5 to buy a buffalo from Shahbad area, had gone missing after the vehicle in which he and some others were carrying the animals back to UP.
Their vehicle was allegedly attacked by Gau Raksha Dal in Kurukshetra on the night of March 5 - 6. While others fled, Mustain was caught by the vigilante group, his father had alleged in the petition.
On March 12, the petitioner brought the matter before Shahbad police, where he was allegedly abused. Later, on March 16, the father had approached high court alleging that his son was in illegal detention of police in Shahbad. The court appointed warrant officer, who had visited the police station on March 17 did not find him there. But had confirmed the incident of attack. While the petition was pending, the police recovered body of Mustain from Kurukshetra on April 2 and had registered an FIR against the four persons of vigilante group on the complaint of deceased’s father.
The HC directed DGP and chief secretary to ensure that such so called vigilante groups working under the garb of ‘Gau Raksha Dal’ were not allowed to take the law in their own hands and take steps in this direction. They have also been asked to ensure protection of life and personal liberty to victim family and initiate appropriate administrative action against all those found responsible and to intimate the court as well.
“..Top officers of the police and the administration cannot hide their deeds and acts under the garb of ignorance. A public officer deputed to govern needs to ensure not only good governance but also must uphold the constitutional rights of a citizen more zealously. Their silence and inaction is in itself reflective of their culpability may be active or passive which needs to be denounced outrightly,” the high court bench said in its order.