The death of two Thapar University students in 2010 may not be an accident. After the Supreme Court orders of December 4 based on a contradicting report, the Rajpura police have at last registered a case of murder. The accused, Zorawar Singh, is son of the-then Patiala subdivisional magistrate (SDM), Gurmeet Singh.
On the night of September 27, 2010, management student Gagandeep Singh Bains and his friend, Gaurav Verma, were killed when their Ford Endeavour SUV crashed into a stationary truck near Liberty Chowk at Rajpura.
Zorawar Singh and another friend, Jaskaran Singh, were injured. The Supreme Court now has directed the police to accept the report of deputy inspector general (DIG) Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh in which he had overruled the possibility of accident and recommended a murder case against Zorawar.
Yet again, the police have registered no case against the other accused. Main accused Zorawar is settled in Canada after going there for studies. Superintendent of police Jiskaranjit Singh Teja, who now investigates the case, said: “We will do our best to arrest Zorawar, no matter where he has escaped.”
Asked why the other accused had been spared again, he said if needed, police would make them join investigation. On September 28, 2010, the police had made a case under Sections 304-A (causing death by negligence), 279 (rash driving on a public way) and 427 (mischief causing a petty amount of damage) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the driver and cleaner of the truck involved in the collision.
Now the case against Zorawar is registered under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC. Zorawar’s father now is regional transport authority (RTA) secretary in Jalandhar.
Following the incident in 2010, SAS Nagar lawyer Gurbax Singh Bains, father of victim Gagandeep, had alleged to thethen director general of police, RS Gill, that his son had not died in the accident but been murdered. He made the representation on February 21, 2011; and moved the same application in the Punjab and Haryana high court two days later.
On February 27, 2011, thethen principal secretary (home) DS Bains moved the inquiry to DIG (crime) Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. On December 21, 2011, it was submitted in the high court that the DIG had concluded his inquiry and recommended a murder case.
In the meantime, Anil Kaushik took over as Punjab DGP, contradicted the DIG report, and constituted an SIT that on March 1, 2012, submitted its findings that whatever had happened had been a road accident and the murder conclusion was baseless.
In March last year, when the high court directed the state to register a case of murder, Zorawar filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court. The apex court has now dismissed that and held the HC order “completely justified”.