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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Moga encounter: SDM starts inquiry

Surinder Maan, Hindustan Times  Moga, June 27, 2014
First Published: 22:27 IST(27/6/2014) | Last Updated: 23:11 IST(27/6/2014)

A day after deputy commissioner Parminder Singh Gill marked an inquiry into the Moga shootout case, SDM Mohinderpal Gupta on Friday started recording the statements of various people, including the families of deceased Sukhdev Singh and his gunman Inderpreet Singh Gora.

The two families said that in case the officials failed to provide them justice in a week, they would start a fast-unto-death outside the deputy commissioner’s office.

Gurpreet Singh, son of Sukhdev Singh, recorded his statement with the SDM, who also recorded the statements of eyewitnesses.

Meanwhile, Gora’s father Chhinder Singh demanded a CBI inquiry into the case. Gora’s family alleged that the two were murdered under a conspiracy.

After recording their statements, the two families met the deputy commissioner. “We have requested the deputy commissioner that the inquiry be held without giving into political or police pressure. We hope the administration will give us justice soon,” Gurpreet said.

He said his father must have been confused to see cops in plain clothes as they tried to stop his Tata Sierra. “My father had a licensed weapon. Thinking that he was stopped by his rivals, my father might have brandished his weapon but the police had an encounter without issuing any warning. We are awaiting the inquiry report and in case the officials fail to provide us justice, we would start a fast-unto-death,” Gurpreet said.

According to police, Sukhdev was in confrontation with a few residents of Singhan Wala village, 8 km from here, over a gaushala. A few residents of Singhan Wala village had allegedly opened fire on Sukhdev on April 15 this year.

The police had arrested 13 people for this. These were released on bail on June 15. The same group allegedly again opened fire at him on June 18. The accused were once again arrested and later released on June 25. Sukhdev again apprehended an attack and suddenly he found the group in plain clothes with weapons on Wednesday evening.

Sources said it was a coincidence that Sukhdev and Gurcharan Singh alias Rinku, a resident of Channuwala village, were present at the same spot. Sukhdev mistook the police in plain clothes as his rivals from Singhan Wala. The police team also mistook him to be Rinku’s companion.

Sukhdev was allegedly attacked while he was returning from the DSP office.

It was quite possible that no encounter would have taken place had the policemen been in uniform. In the FIR registered by the crime branch in-charge Ranjodh Singh, he said the police team was in uniform, however, the photos with the media show that sub-inspector Rajdeep, and constables Surinder and Ranjodh were in plain clothes.

The district police failed to show the arrest of Rinku and one Khushwinder Singh of Sangatpura, who were booked by the Moga police for attacking the Chandigarh police party on behalf of the statement of inspector Ranjodh Singh. Both are under treatment at the local civil hospital here.

On the other hand, Rinku and Khushwinder have rejected the police theory that they were with Sukhdev at the time of the incident. “We were going to Baghapurana when the encounter started. We don’t know who was responsible for opening the fire first. Our vehicle had stopped by some people who posed as policemen and rounded us up,” they said.

While the Chandigarh police claimed that Rinku and Khushwinder accompanied Sukhdev.

SSP Gursharan Singh Sandhu said, “The magisterial inquiry is underway, so I can’t comment. I have no information if anyone has been arrested.”

The deputy commissioner said, “The inquiry will be conducted properly. The investigation is being carried out under the guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission. I hope the SDM will find out the truth soon.”

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