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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

MAUR BLASTS: HC order gives no succour, victims’ kin see no hope of getting justice

The victims’ kin say since the previous SIT showed no intent to arrest those booked in connection with the blasts and unearth the conspiracy at the behest of the Congress government

chandigarh Updated: Oct 19, 2019 22:58 IST
Sachin Kumar
Sachin Kumar
Hindustan Times, BATHINDA
Hindustantimes
         

The families of those killed in the 2017 Maur twin bomb blasts seem to have lost hope of getting justice in the case, even as the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered the state government to constitute a new special investigation team (SIT) and complete the probe within three months.

Disposing of a public interest litigation (PIL), the high court on Friday ordered to form a new SIT to be by headed by director general of police (DGP, law and order) and file chargesheet within the stipulated time. The previous SIT was headed by deputy inspector general (DIG) Ranbir Singh Khatra.

The victims’ kin say since the previous SIT showed no intent to arrest those booked in connection with the blasts and unearth the conspiracy at the behest of the Congress government, they aren’t hopeful of any progress in the case.

Balbir Singh, grandfather of one of the victims Japsimran Singh (15), said the police deliberately didn’t arrest the accused. “An intentional delay in arresting the accused shows there is political interference in the case. The probe should be handed over to central agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the National Investigation Agency (NIA),” he said.

Kirtan Singh, the father of Ripandeep Singh who was killed at the age of 11, said despite having booked three followers of Dera Sacha Sauda in the case, cops didn’t bother to question anyone. The Punjab government is trying to bury the case, he added.

Echoing the same sentiment, Rakesh Kumar father of deceased child Sourav Singla said had the state government been willing to crack the case, it could have been done so they don’t expect much from the state police. He, however, added that victim families can’t lose hope completely.

“Also, the expenses incurred on the treatment of the injured haven’t been refunded as was promised by the state government. Before my son succumbed to injuries at a Ludhiana hospital a day after the blasts, I spent nearly ₹45,000 on his treatment. I submitted the bills to officials but these were not reimbursed,” he said.


THE CASE

The blasts occurred on January 31, 2017, evening in Maur during campaigning for the assembly polls by Congress candidate Harminder Singh Jassi, a relative of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Jassi had a narrow escape in the blast. Jassi’s daughter is married to the dera chief’s son.

Five of the seven deceased were children and 12 persons were injured in the blasts.

The Kahtra-led SIT in February 2018 produced four persons, who worked as fitters and painters in a dera workshop in Sirsa, as prosecution witnesses in a Talwandi Sabo court.

Then three dera followers — Gurtej Singh Kala of Dabwali in Sirsa district in Haryana, Amrik Singh, a native of Bhikhi in Mansa but lives in Badalgarh in Sangrur, and Avtar Singh of Messi Majra village near Pehowa in Haryana — were named as accused in the case.