Raj Kumar Verka, vice-chairman of the National Commission for the SC/ST, has questioned the police investigation in the Ludhiana shootout case alleging that the police were trying to save some of its officers.
While talking to reporters here on Monday, Verka said that according to the police report, Machhiwara SHO Manjinder Singh was leading the police party that had come to Ludhiana, along with Gurjit Singh, the SAD leader and husband of the woman sarpanch of Takhran village, to nab the accused. The police party had gunned down brothers Harinder Singh and Jatinder Singh at Jamalpur.
Verka told the police to book the SHO and arrest him immediately. "The police have booked a head constable, two home guard jawans and the SAD leader for the killing, but were trying to save the SHO. The police record says the SHO was heading the team, then why have the police not booked him and why is there a delay in arresting him?" he added.
Verka said he had met police commissioner Pramod Ban, Khanna SSP Harsh Bansal and the victim's family and was not satisfied with the proceedings. He alleged that the police were being politically influenced. "The police have been conducting raids with the jathedars. This is sheer apathy. Now, instead of taking action against the culprits, the police have been trying to shield them," Verka said.
He also asked the police to add appropriate sections to the FIR as the deceased belonged to an SC family. Verka recommended Rs 5 lakh each to the dependents of the deceased as relief. He said a judicial inquiry had been marked and the family would get justice.
Contract killing or encounter
Sources in police said Jatinder and Harinder had allegedly beaten up the nephew of SAD leader Gurjit Singh a few days ago; Gurjit had an old enmity with the two and wanted to avenge himself.
Sources said Gurjit had offered money to head constable Yadwinder Singh and others to kill the two in an encounter; Gurjit had also allegedly booked air tickets to New Zealand for Yadwinder, who was about to go abroad on October 10.