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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

SDM to investigate Moga shootout

Surinder Maan, Hindustan Times  Moga, June 27, 2014
First Published: 09:00 IST(27/6/2014) | Last Updated: 10:08 IST(27/6/2014)

After questions were raised over the veracity of the “encounter” in which the Chandigarh police gunned down an alleged criminal and his gunman, the deputy commissioner-cum-district magistrate of Moga, Parminder Singh Gill, on Thursday marked a judicial inquiry into the matter.

“Under the guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission, I have ordered to the local sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), Mohinderpal Gupta, to find out the truth about the encounter which claimed two lives. As soon as the inquiry is completed, further action will be taken,” Gill said.

In the encounter, controversial realty dealer Sukhdev Singh ‘Car Bazaar Wala’ of Moga and his aide, Inderpreet Singh Gora of Singhan Wala village, were killed by the UT police crime branch team, which was in the area to arrest men wanted in an assault case in Chandigarh. Later, the UT police arrested two men for that case too.

Though the two men killed were not expressly named in that case, sources said the named accused were Sukhdev’s aides too. Two of them, Gurcharan Singh alias Rinku, a resident of Channuwala village, and Khushwinder Singh alias Sukhpal of Sangatpura, were travelling by another vehicle accompanying Sukhdev’s vehicles and were injured during the shootout. These two men had rushed to a private clinic nearby but the Chandigarh cops arrested them after an hour from Baghapurana.

Gurpreet Singh, son of deceased Sukhdev Singh, questioned that if his father was not wanted by the Chandigarh police “why did the police open fire at him without any identification, while actual accused Rinku escaped safe during the so-called encounter?”

Some supporters of Sukhdev also gathered at the civil here hospital and demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). They even threatened to not allow cremation of the bodies; though eventually the cremations were carried out.

WHO FIRED FIRST?

The UT police stuck to its theory that Sukhdev and his men had fired first after the police had got suspicious and sought to stop and question them near the Moga bypass. The police on Thursday also got registered a case against six men who were allegedly with Sukhdev and had shot at the cops. “We have recovered a 0.12 bore doublebarrel gun, a pistol of 0.32 bore, a gun of 0.315 bore and several unused bullets from the SUV of Sukhdev,” said an official of the Chandigarh police.

As for the two cops injured in the encounter, sub-inspector Rajdeep Singh is under observation at a hospital in Ludhiana, while head constable is out of danger.

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