Human rights panel summons Mansa SSP for acting as appellate authority
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has directed Mansa senior superintendent of police (SSP) Bhupinder Singh Khatra to appear in person before its full bench for acting like an "appellate authority" to the commission.
According to the commission, Khatra, in a second inquiry report submitted to them, tried to shield the two cops found guilty of having beaten up a girl in Bareta, Mansa, in 2012.
The incident took place on January 23, 2012, and was caught on camera. Television channels showed how the girl -- caught for allegedly selling spurious liquor -- was brought into the Bareta police station and beaten up in front of several persons by a cop in uniform.
Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, the commission asked for a detailed report from the Mansa subdivional magistrate (SDM). The SDM, Anmol Singh, submitted a report to the commission in September 2014, holding head constable Balwan Singh and station house officer (SHO) Sikander Singh guilty. The SDM said Balwan Singh beat up the girl, while the SHO allowed the assault to continue.
The full commission ordered the Mansa SSP to take action against the two cops, based on the SDM's report. The SSP was told to submit an action-taken report to the commission. However, instead of sending the report to the commission, the SSP "inquired" into the incident again and submitted a second inquiry report to the PSHRC.
"The Mansa SSP apparently acted like an appellate authority to the findings recorded by the SDM. The commission does not find any such law. It appears that all-out efforts are being made to protect accused head constable Balwan Singh and SHO Sikander Singh," the commission noted in its order passed on Wednesday.
"Accordingly, the SSP is called to appear in person before the full commission on the adjourned date so that his statement can be recorded. He shall also produce the authority under which he had acted as an appellate authority along with the complete record relating to the case," the order concluded. The case has been adjourned to July 2.