Behbal Kalan firing: Cops skip panel hearing, suspended SSP turns up

  • Parampreet Singh Narula, Hindustan Times, Moga
  • Updated: Feb 11, 2016 09:57 IST

Showing apathy towards the justice Zora Singh Commission, an inquiry panel set up by the Punjab government to probe incidents of sacrilege and Behbal Kalan police firing, the district police have again failed to submit the required information to the panel despite repeated reminders since November 27, 2015.

Panel head justice (retd) Zora Singh, along with commission registrar, retired district and sessions judge Sher Singh, was here on Wednesday to gather information from the police and record statements of suspended senior superintendent of police (SSP) Charanjit Sharma, who was also summoned by the panel here after he failed to file an affidavit with the commission.

However, Charanjit Sharma, who was leading the police party that opened fire on a crowd, protesting against incidents of sacrilege, leaving two youths dead, appeared before the panel.

Sharma, who was earlier not replying to repeated letters by the panel, at about two- hour closed door meeting with the commission, filed an affidavit and recorded his statement before the panel. The panel had sent summons through director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora on February 8.

Reliable sources said that the panel had been demanding information from the police regarding the incident and a report on the issuance of arms, weapons and ammunition and used ammunition.

The panel had also sought information on daily dairy reports (DDRs) of all the police stations, medico legal reports (MLRs) of the injured, inquest and autopsy reports of the killed.

“Keeping in mind the necessity of versions from both the parties, the commission has been waiting for reply from the police, as any report based on the one-sided version is not worthy of credit,” sources said.

Sources said that this was the main reason behind delay in the inquiry of this case as the police are not cooperating with the panel.

According to information, the panel correspondence, which was started from November 2015 onwards, with the SSPs of Moga, Mansa, Ferozepur, Muktsar, Bathinda, Faridkot and Ludhiana, failed to elicit complete information.

“The panel has received only partial information from the police so far, while the public is cooperating with the panel and recording statements with them,” sources said.

SSP of Moga Mukhwinder Singh Bhullar was reported to be on leave, but even the second-in-command Harjit Singh Pannu, superintendent of police-investigation failed to turn up to appear before the panel.

However, Pannu claimed that he had sent the requested information through an emissary, but the panel did not entertain him saying that they wanted the SSP to appear in person before the panel.

“The panel didn’t inform me that I could come on the SSP’s behalf, but I sent all the information to the panel which was not received,” said Pannu, when asked why you were not appeared before the panel.

Justice Zora Singh said that they had received the affidavit of SSP Charanjit Sharma and recorded his statement. Further investigation would be carried on the basis of his affidavit, he said.

Meanwhile, Zora Singh appealed to the public to contact them, if they have any information about the sacrilege incidents or the Behbal Kalan firing.

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