Behbal Kalan firing: Advocate, car dealer sent to 3-day police custody
Police remand required for Sohai Singh Brar and Pankaj Bansal to dig out the names of all conspirators in the 2015 firings on people protesting the Bargari sacrilege in FaridkotUpdated: Jun 21, 2020 17:05 IST
The court of duty magistrate Amandeep Kaur sent advocate Sohail Singh Brar and Moga based car dealer Pankaj Bansal to three-day police custody for their alleged role in fabricating evidence in the Behbal Kalan police firing on Sunday.
The special investigation team (SIT) probing the 2015 firings on people protesting the Bargari sacrilege in Faridkot arrested Bansal, a former witness in the case, for allegedly helping some policemen deliberately fire at and leave bullet marks on the escort vehicle of Charanjit Singh Sharma, former Moga senior superintendent of police and an accused in the case. Brar was arrested on June 16 under similar charges.
SIT adds abetment section to FIR
The SIT on Sunday added section 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to the FIR filed in 2018.
District attorney (DA) Rajnish Goyal, who appeared for SIT, told the court that new facts emerging during Brar’s interrogation led to Bansal’s arrest. Police remand was required for “Brar and Bansal to dig out the names of all conspirators. We cannot disclose fresh developments in the case as this information will be used during cross interrogation of both accused,” Goyal added.
When defence counsel Gursahib Singh Brar argued against custodial interrogations, saying Brar and Bansal had appeared before SIT whenever required, the DA said Brar had not cooperated with the SIT during his four-day custody. Bansal too was not cooperating, he added.
The defence also pleaded that as the accused were not present at the Behbal Kalan firing spot they could be booked under section 201 and 109 of IPC, both bailable offences. To this, the DA said they were also accused of criminal conspiracy in a murder case so section 120B (criminal conspiracy) applied to the case and the sections could not be bifurcated as investigations were in progress.
The prosecution also said no mention was made of two persons killed in the Behbal Kalan firing incident in the FIR by the accused cops in 2015 to cover up facts.
Brar was presented before the court after his four-day police custody finished on Sunday.
Findings of the probe
The SIT in its probe found that Charanjit Sharma had conspired with three other police officers: Fazilka superintendent of police Bikramjit Singh, inspector Pardip Singh and sub-inspector Amarjit Singh Kular, to cover up facts related to the Behbal Kalan firing.
SIT has claimed that to fabricate false evidence against the peaceful protesters, Sharma’s escort Maruti Gypsy was taken to the advocate’s house, where Bikramjit Singh had fired at it, leaving bullet marks. The same day, Kular, who was the Bajakhana station house officer, recorded the statements of Sharma, Bikramjit Singh and Pardip Singh among others, in which they claimed that police fired in self-defence after protestors attacked them.
A case was registered against the policemen (then unidentified) under Section 302 (murder) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code on October 21, 2017. Names of the four policemen, including Sharma, were added in the FIR on August 11, 2018.
Photos: Accused outside Fardikot judicial complex on Sunday.