Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal did not commit himself to a "time-bound" inquiry in the Amritsar encounter case, but assured the family members of the slain Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader, Mukhjit Singh Mukha, that "justice will be done as quickly as possible and action as per law will be taken against the accused, whosoever they may be".
Sukhbir visited Mukha's family in Verka village on Friday to mourn his death in a police encounter on June 16 near Mudhal village. Mukha, a ward president of the SAD, was killed in what the cops later claimed as "a case of mistaken identity" as the police team that fired on the Akali leader was on the lookout for a notorious gangster.
Sukhbir spent around 30 minutes with the family and said action would be taken against the guilty once the findings of the special investigation team (SIT) were out.
SIT TOLD TO SPEED-UP PROBE
When the media questioned the deputy CM about his party's local unit demand of a time-bound inquiry, Sukhbir said: "The SIT has been directed to speed-up the probe and give its report as soon as is possible."
SAD's Amritsar (urban) unit president Upkar Singh Sandhu had demanded that the three-member SIT, headed by inspector general of police (IGP crime) Nageshwar Rao, should be directed to submit its report within seven days.
Though the Deputy CM didn't say anything about the suspension of the cops involved in the encounter, he summoned Amritsar police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh and directed him to inquire whether Mukha was a victim of political rivalry. He issued these directions after the family expressed apprehensions that a Congress leader of Verka, Harpal Singh, could have used the cops to get rid of Mukha, as both did not get along with each other.
Sukhbir also directed Aulakh to keep him informed of the day-to-day investigations in the case. "If necessary, visit the family every day and look into their problems," he told the police commissioner.
PROMISES COMPENSATION TO FAMILY
Sukhbir also directed the police to provide security to the family, besides promising monetary aid to the kin of the deceased SAD leader. He said one family member of the deceased's family will be given a government job. The family favours a job for the minor son of the deceased. Sukhbir said he would get a job as soon as he is eligible.
He also summoned officiating deputy commissioner Pradeep Sabharwal and directed him to lay a metalled road to Mukha's house from the main road.