Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju will begin a three-day visit to Behbal Kalan near Kotkapura in Faridkot district from Saturday to inquire into the October 14, 2015, police firing where two Sikh men were killed. Protesters had gathered at the village to protest against incidents of desecration of the bir of Guru Granth Sahib. Organisations like Sikhs for Human Rights, Punjab Human Rights Organisation, and Lawyers For Human Rights International had urged justice Katju to inquire into the incident and have even named it the justice Markandey Katju commission on Behbal Kalan police firing.
Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema from Sikhs for Human Rights said, “We have requested residents of nearby villages, including people who were part of the protest that day, to come forward and record their statements. On January 31, justice Katju will collect affidavits from 36 witnesses, including people injured in the police firing and those whose property was damaged. On February 1, more affidavits will be collected and justice Katju will speak to witnesses yet to record their statements.”
Cheema added they planned to submit the affidavits collected to the government-appointed commission of justice Zora Singh (retd) that is inquiring into the firing.
“If the government-appointed Zora Singh commission does not act on the findings of justice Katju commission, we might file a public interest litigation in the Punjab and Haryana high court based on its findings,” he said.