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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Four cops booked after fleeing illegal mining suspect dies

Tarsem Singh Deogan, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, November 09, 2012
First Published: 21:41 IST(9/11/2012) | Last Updated: 21:42 IST(9/11/2012)

Police have registered a case against four officials of Ladhowal police station on charge of causing death due to negligence after Balwinder Singh of Talwandi Kalan village was killed in a mishap while trying to evade policemen chasing him.

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Those booked were ASI Varinder Kumar Chopra and head constables Gurdial Singh, Balbir Chand and Gurdeep Singh on the statement of Harjinder Lal, a brother-in-law of the deceased. The booked officials have since been sent to police lines.

A posse of policemen was deployed on the GT road and around the deceased's native village to prevent any untoward incident on Friday.

Balwinder, suspected of illegal mining, tried to evade arrest on Thursday night and was trapped under the tractor-trolley he was driving.

Irate villagers blocked the Jalandhar-Ludhiana national highway near Ladhowal area around 10pm and vandalised passing vehicles. The blockade continued till 2.30am on Friday. It was only after assurance from top officials regarding registration of a criminal case against members of a police team who chased Balwinder that the protesting villagers lifted the blockade.

Meanwhile, in his police complaint, Harjinder Lal said that his brother-in-law was driving a tractor-trolley loaded with sand from a village on the Sutlej bank when a police vehicle blocked his way to stop him. Balwinder lost control over the tractor-trolley, fell down and was trapped under the overturned vehicle.

He claimed that instead of taking him to hospital, the chasing police team fled the scene. Later, area villagers rescued him but he died on way to the hospital.

On Friday, an autopsy on the body was conducted at the civil hospital and handed over to Balwinder's family, which cremated him at their village on Friday noon.

Inder Mohan Singh Kadian, chairman of market committee, and local leaders Inderjit Kasabad and former MLA Malkit Singh Dakha were also present at the cremation. Harpreet Singh Shivalik represented area MLA Darshan Singh on the occasion.

When contacted, Ludhiana police commissioner Ishwar Singh claimed that the deceased was suspected of illegal mining and even his kin had admitted in the FIR that he had loaded sand in his tractor-trolley.

The police commissioner maintained that prima facie, the booked police officials were not at fault and they were only acting against illegal mining. He said that to ensure impartial inquiry, the four police officials had been sent to police lines.

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