Bikramjit murder: Cops under cloud over late response to vital e-mail | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Bikramjit murder: Cops under cloud over late response to vital e-mail

punjab Updated: Oct 15, 2014 09:23 IST
HT Correspondent

The Amritsar cops’ delayed response to an important e-mail sent by the Rupnagar police in the highly sensitive case involving the abduction-cum-murder of an inmate of the local central jail, wherein one of the accused is a Punjab Police inspector (now dismissed), has raised a question mark over the intentions of the men in uniform.

Can this delayed action by the police be dismissed as their casual approach towards the case or was it a deliberate lapse as most of the accused in the case were cops, including the high profile inspector?

DELAY IN IDENTIFYING JAIL INMATE’S BODY

Questioning the late reaction of the Amritsar police in identifying the body recovered from the canal, Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) secretary Sarabjit Singh Verka said, “It was a deliberate attempt to weaken the case in court as it involves a dismissed inspector, who is close to some top police officials. If the local police had acted in time and shown some responsibility, a lot of evidence could have been collected and added to the case”.

To support his contention, Verka handed over an e-mail, dated May 8, 2014, to HT on Tuesday. The e-mail was sent by the police of Kiratpur Sahib police station to the Amritsar police commissioner and the SHO of the Civil Lines police station.

It reads, “One unidentified dead body (male) found from Bhakra Canal, Nakkian Power House today (8-5-14). Description: Age is 30-35 years, height 5.8 feet, wheatish complexion and wearing only a grey underwear. Tatoo of peacock on right arm. Body kept at Civil Hospital, Anandpur Sahib, for identification for 72 hours. In this regard, formalities under 174 CrPC have been done. If any information, contact 9779464123”.

Verka claimed that even after receiving the e-mail, the local cops showed no inclination in going to Anandpur Sahib to identify the body. This was despite the fact that Dalbir Singh had told them about the tatoo mark (peacock) on his brother’s right arm.

“Had they gone within the stipulated 72-hours of the recovery of the body, autopsy would have been performed and a lot of evidence could have come to light as it was suspected that Bikramjit died due to torture at the hands of his abductors. It was only after the Rupnagar police had cremated the body on May 14 that the Amritsar cops reacted”, Verka added

OFFICIALSPEAK

When questioned about the e-mail, senior police officials seemed to be unaware of its existence. They wanted time to check.

The case: Abduction-cum-murder

The case relates to the abduction and murder of Bikramjit Singh, a convict who was serving a 20-year term in the Amritsar central jail after his conviction in a murder case. His abduction took place from the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital of the Government Medical College here on May 5 and the witness in the case was his brother, Dalbir Singh, who claimed to have recognised one of the abductors, inspector Naurang Singh (now dismissed). Bikramjit was admitted to the hospital after he complained of a back problem.

The case in this connection was registered under sections 302 (murder), 201, 365 (abduction) and 342 of the IPC at the Civil Lines police station. Eight persons, including four cops, are named in the FIR and they all are behind bars.

A special investigation team (SIT) was formed on May 10 after the case was highlighted in the media. The breakthrough came after the Rupnagar police fished out a dead body from the Bhakra canal on May 8 and informed the Amritsar police as well as those of other districts that an unidentified body had been found. However the Amritsar police at first did not acknowledge this information sent by an e-mail even though a convict from their area had gone missing. They acknowledged the mail after a week.

The Amritsar cops’ delayed response to an important e-mail sent by the Rupnagar police in the highly sensitive case involving the abduction-cum-murder of an inmate of the local central jail, wherein one of the accused is a Punjab Police inspector (now dismissed), has raised a question mark over the intentions of the men in uniform.

Can this delayed action by the police be dismissed as their casual approach towards the case or was it a deliberate lapse as most of the accused in the case were cops, including the high profile inspector?