Youth Akali Dal (YAD) leader Yadwinder Singh Yadu and two others have been handed the clean chit by the police’s special investigation team (SIT) in a shootout that claimed a life on February 2. The then president of the YAD’s Khanna rural unit and considered an aide of YAD president and Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, Yadu is absconding ever since he was named for the murder of Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Gosla village.
The complainant in the case is Amrinder Singh alias Soni, who was severely injured in the attack which is being seen as a clash between two Akali factions.
According to the SIT report accessed by HT, the other two given the clean chit are Harvinder Singh Sonu and Mandeep Singh, as the SIT believes that the three men were not even present at the spot when the shootout happened. The SIT claims to have recorded statements of at least 17 people to know the locations of all suspects on the day. The report has been signed by senior superintendent of police (SSP) Harcharan Singh Bhullar on May 12.
The SIT was for med by the then deputy inspector general of police (DIG) Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh on a complaint by Yadu’s wife Jasdeep Kaur, who had said he had been “a victim of infighting in the party”. She alleged that her husband had been implicated by some police of ficers at the behest of some senior Akali leaders. Sources say that while Yadu belongs to one faction of the SAD, his rival group was close to SAD’s Khanna constituency incharge Ranjit Singh Talwandi.
The SIT report says that, on February 2, there was a tiff between Yadu and the other faction’s leader Amarinder Singh Purewal during the management committee elections at AS Senior Secondary School. While the two left, the tiff led to heated arguments between Sonu Jagdayo of the Purewal group and sarpanch Jatinder Singh alias Jippy of the Yadu group. Both called some more men, says the report, going by their mobile phone call data. The groups then entered into a brawl at Malerkotla Chowk and gunfire led to the death of 21-year-old Kulwinder Singh.
But, the report says, Yadu was at his shop at the grain market at the time, and neither was Harvinder Singh Sonu present at the spot. It appears that Sonu was named because of some old enmity, though his brother Gurpreet Singh Gora was present on the spot and has already been arrested, adds the report. As for the clean chit to a third accused, Mandeep Singh, the report says he too was named in the FIR over old enmity, and that too eight days after the incident.
The then SSP Bhullar, who has since been transferred to Mohali, told HT that the report had been forwarded to the DIG. Now, the case of murder and other related charges could effectively remain only against seven persons, five of whom have been arrested.
When contacted, complainant Soni said he was not aware of any clean chit: “We will see what the next legal step can be.”