A local court acquitted Congress leader and former MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa and 38 others in a 2007 murder case in which an Akali worker was killed during the assembly election campaign in the then Beas assembly constituency.
Dimpa, who was the main accused, was the Congress candidate and sitting MLA from Beas. The Election Commission had taken a strong note of the violence in Beas and had postponed the election in the constituency by 20 days.
The order acquitting Dimpa, his brother Rajan Gill and 37 others was passed by additional district and sessions judge Harpreet Kaur Randhawa here on Thursday. While passing the order, the judge noted that the prosecution could not prove the charges against the accused. Advocate Sandeep Gorsi handled the case for Dimpa and company as their defense counsel.
The case against Dimpa and others was registered on January 29, 2007 soon after Akali worker Dilbagh Singh of Mesampura village was killed following a shot fired from a gun after Congress and Akali workers clashed in Beas town. The case was registered under Section 302 and other sections of the IPC and the Arms Act. However, the charges that were framed later were under Section 304 of the IPC and the Arms Act.
Dimpa had claimed before the police that Akali workers had attacked the Congress office in Beas and injured some of his supporters. He had denied any knowledge of the shots being fired by Congress leaders or workers who were present in and outside the office.
The case was registered at the Beas police station on the complaint of Jagir Singh, an uncle of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate Manjinder Singh Kang. The EC after assessing the situation in the assembly segment postponed the election by 20 days and got it held under tight security in the first week of March while in the rest of the state, polls were held in the second week of February.
Dimpa lost the election to Kang by around 4,500 votes. Later, after the SAD-BJP formed the government, Dimpa and a few others named in the FIR were arrested and remanded to judicial custody. They later got bail from the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Commenting on his acquittal, Dimpa said, "I (and others) had all along claimed that I had been framed in the case due to my political rivalry with Kang. Justice has been done."