Taking serious notice of the mysterious death of an ASI on the eve of farmers' agitation, the Tarn Taran police have converted the case registered under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against 12 farmer leaders into section 302 (murder).
Confirming this to HT, Tarn Taran SSP KS Dhillon said, "We have already arrested five farmer activists and a team under the SP (detective) has been formed to conduct raids and arrest the remaining accused. A case was registered against nine identified and a few unidentified persons at the Sadar police station."
ASI Kulbir Singh, along with a police party, had gone to Geobala village to take farmer activists in preventive custody in an attempt to thwart the agitation.
After the raid, the body of ASI Kulbir Singh was found near a drain, leaving his family members and the Punjab Police shocked.
The family members of the deceased ASI had alleged that Kulbir was first allegedly beaten up and then taken hostage by some farmers. They had demanded a murder case against the suspects.
To press for their demands, the family, along other families of other cops, had also staged a dharna and demanded from the ADGP (law and order) that a case under section 302 be registered against the farmer leaders.
After the post-mortem examination, the doctors had claimed that there was no obvious injury on the body of the ASI, whereas the family had alleged that there was an injury mark on his neck.
When asked about the reason why it had been converted to a murder case, Dhillon said, "During the questioning of the accused, we learnt that our ASI was beaten up when he had gone for the raid. With the investigations progressing, there are some other reasons coming to the fore."