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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

SHO dismissed after Akali leader kills police officer

IANS  Amritsar, December 06, 2012
First Published: 20:22 IST(6/12/2012) | Last Updated: 20:24 IST(6/12/2012)

Punjab Police on Thursday dismissed a station house officer (SHO) for dereliction of duty a day after an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) was shot dead by a ruling Shiromani Akali Dal leader near Amritsar.

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ASI Ravinder Pal Singh was allegedly shot dead by Ranjit Singh Rana, general secretary of Amritsar district Akali Dal, and his accomplices in Chheharta area on the outskirts of the city after he (ASI) objected to his daughter being harassed by them Wednesday.

Rana had been stalking the ASI's daughter for the last few days.

Rana and his accomplice were arrested on Thursday for the ASI's killing while two other men continued to elude the police.

The police officer was in uniform when he was attacked by Rana. The accused fired at and injured the ASI and his daughter after the officer confronted them for harassing his daughter.

After some time, Rana and his accomplices returned with more weapons and shot him in the chest, leaving him dead.

Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini told mediapersons here that police swung into action immediately after Wednesday's killing and arrested the main accused. Three weapons, all licensed, were also recovered.

He said the accused, who were first confronted  by a police party at Sohal village near here, were fired upon.

"Police were able to corner them and arrest them at Rajoke village in Tarn Taran district," Saini said.

"Our colleague has been shot dead. We are taking this incident very seriously. We will get the accused punished," he said.

Saini admitted that Chheharta SHO had shown dereliction of duty and a decision was taken to dismiss him from service.

He said the ASI's daughter had complained to the police station about being harassed by the youth but the SHO did not take any action. The officer was suspended Wednesday.

"If any child complains to police, the police official has to take action. Yesterday (Wednesday), we suspended the SHO. After further enquiries, we have dismissed him," Saini said.

However, Akali Dal leaders washed their hands of the entire incident saying the killing of the ASI was an "individual act" of Rana.

"We have expelled him from the party. This was his individual act. We cannot foresee what a particular leader may do in the future. The Akali Dal has nothing to do with it," Punjab's Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia told reporters.

Majithia is the brother-in-law of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Police officials in the area had failed to reach the spot of the shooting even 30 minutes after the incident. The incident took place near Chheharta police station, on the outskirts of Amritsar city, 250 km from state capital Chandigarh.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh said Thursday that no one, however high and influential, would be allowed to take law in his own hands.

Accusing the Akali Dal of pushing the state towards lawlessness, Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh condemned the "brutal killing" of the ASI "while trying to prevent two Akali goons from harassing his daughter at Amritsar on Wednesday".

He blamed Majithia "for patronising goons and criminals who had the audacity to kill an ASI who objected to the eve-teasing of his daughter".

Sikh group Dal Khalsa demanded that Sukhbir Singh Badal be divested of the home portfolio as he had failed to maintain law and order in the state.

Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh and general secretary Manjinder Singh said "goonda culture" was prevailing in the state.

"Badals are responsible for changing the basic character of the Shiromani Akali Dal."

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