The family of Mukhjit Singh Mukha, who was killed by the police in a “fake encounter” in June last year, are not happy with the registration of case against eight cops, saying charges against them have been diluted.
The victim Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader’s family also says the police spared two of their senior officers, who, too, were involved in Mukha’s “murder”.
On the recommendations of the special investigation team (SIT) that probed the incident, the police on Wednesday booked eight cops for culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code) and not murder, as sought by the victim’s family.
Those booked are: Sub-inspector Ramesh Kumar (who was then the in-charge of the anti-narcotics cell), ASI Joginder Singh, head constables Ranbir Singh, Rajesh Kumar, Jasbir Singh, Sandeep Kumar and Navjot Singh and constable Satwinderjit Singh.
Mukha’s brother Sarbjit Singh said, “It is clear case of murder. The CCTV camera footage also points that it was a staged encounter. So, the cops should have been booked for murder (Section 302 of IPC) and not Section 304.”
“Also, two senior police officers involved in the conspiracy have unjustly been let off,” he said.
Mukha’s wife Harjit Kaur said they had to fight a long battle to get the cops booked and still charges against them had been diluted. “We were pressured many times for a compromise and were offered money. We also got threats,” she said.
“We are amritdhari (baptised) Sikhs and don’t consumer liquor. But the police tried to book me in a false case of liquor smuggling,” said Sukhdev Singh, the lone witness in the case, who is Mukha’s brother-in-law.
Human rights activist, Sarbjit Singh Verka, who is helping the family in this case, said two senior cops were liable to be booked as they were leading the police team. The fact that some of the accused were the gunmen of a senior cop at that time also proves his (officer’s) involvement.”
The family had also filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking probe by an independent agency, compensation and strict action against the guilty cops.
Mukha, SAD in-charge of ward 16 in Amritsar, was shot dead by a police team on June 16, 2015, near Mudhal village, when he was coming to the village in his Hyundai i-20 car from Verka. The police claimed that they were looking for gangster Jaggu Bhagwan Puria and Mukha got killed “by mistake”.