1993 custodial deaths’ case: Ex-constable service record goes missing, inquiry begins
Punjab Police have initiated an inquiry to fix responsibility of cops after the service record of constable Balwinder Singh—one of the six persons who was allegedly picked up, illegally detained and later eliminated by police in 1993 — went missing.
The investigation was launched on the direction of inspector general of police (IGP), border range, Amritsar, Surinder Pal Singh Parmar. The matter came to the fore after a central bureau of investigation (CBI) court in Mohali directed the police to produce Balwinder’s service record before it.
The IGP ordered a probe on November 2 into the “misplacement/non availability of the service record” of Balwinder Singh.
The IGP also asked the DSP headquarters, Amritsar (rural), to submit his report to the office on the missing file “within a week positively for further necessary action.”
The CBI court sought Balwinder’s record while hearing a petition filed by Gurmit Kaur, Balwinder’s mother, in September.
The files could not be found after the court, looking into allegations of Balwinder Singh’s illegal detention and torture, asked for the service records to compare the missing policeman’s thumb print in a document, which his mother, Gurmit Kaur, claims is forged.
Even as Punjab police officials said Balwinder Singh had escaped during a raid in which a weapon had been recovered from him, however, the constable’s family alleged that Balwinder’s father Gurmej Singh and uncles Baba Charan Singh, Meja Singh, Kesar Singh and Gurdev Singh were picked up by the police from various locations in April 1993.
The DSP is directed to carry out the “preliminary enquiry and fix responsibility” for the missing records.
Gurmit Kaur, moved an application before a CBI special court, Mohali, during a hearing on the “illegal detention and torture” of her son, husband and four family members. False cases had allegedly been registered against them before their purported escape from custody.
CBI was handed over the investigations by Punjab police in 1997.
Police had alleged that Balwinder Singh had been arrested in April 1993 in a case registered under the Arms Act in at the Sarhali police station in Tarn Taran, Punjab, and a weapon recovered from him.
A disclosure statement had also been released with Balwinder Singh’s thumb impression.
Police also alleged that Balwinder had escaped during the raid to recover the arms.
Gurmit Kaur submitted before the court that Balwinder’s thumb impression was forged as he was educated and could sign documents. She also urged the court to summon Balwinder’s service record so that the thumb impression in the file along with the character roll deposited with the office of SSP, Tarn Taran police district, could be compared to the one on the disclosure statement by the Central Finger Print Bureau or any other Central government agency.