The Punjab government has ordered a judicial probe into the alleged "murder" of a Punjab Police assistant sub- inspector (ASI) near Geobala village in March this year.
The body of ASI Kulbir Singh, incharge of Manochahal police post, who had fled from Geobala after farmers put up resistance, was found a couple of kms away from the village.
The ASI had led a police party to the village to pick up farmer leaders who were to take part in a statewide protest against the agricultural policies of the union and state governments.
While the kisan leaders claimed that the ASI had died due to a heart attack, police registered a case under Section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide, not amounting to murder) but later slapped murder charges (Section 302 of the IPC) after the family of the deceased alleged that he was murdered. Interestingly, his post-mortem report did not indicate any external injuries.
The information on the judicial inquiry was conveyed to the leaders of the Kisan Sangharsh Committee by Amritsar deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal here on Thursday.
Aggarwal had been asked by the state government to meet the leaders of the committee after they threatened to stage a three-day long 'dharna' on this issue.
The DC said that the government was yet to decide on the judicial officer who would be conducting the inquiry.
Farmers stage dharna
Despite the government's decision on the inquiry, farmers' union went ahead with the dharna outside the office of the Tarn Taran deputy commissioner.
"We are satisfied with the (judicial) inquiry but our demand is that all our members detained in the case must be released immediately. We are also demanding withdrawal of the case against our members as it was not a murder," committee president Satnam Singh Pannu said while addressing those taking part in the protest which would continue over the next two days.
The police had arrested 11 farmer leaders on charges of murder. A total of 44 persons were named in the case.