Suspended IGP Umranangal gets bail in 2015 Kotkapura firing case
The Faridkot district and sessions court on Monday granted bail to suspended inspector general of police (IGP) Paramraj Singh Umranangal who is in judicial custody in the 2015 Kotkapura firing case.
Umranangal was arrested by the special investigation team (SIT) probing the 2015 Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan police firing cases on February 18 from the Punjab Police headquarters in Chandigarh.
The court order said that from the police file, it is clear that statements of some other injured protesters have been recorded, but none of them has named the Umranangal as leading or commanding the police party, which had caused injuries to the protesters. It is clear from which weapon complainant Ajit Singh sustained injury, the court observed.
The public prosecutor argued that the conspiracy behind violence and subsequent police firing at Kotkapura and force used by police is yet to be unearthed. It is clear that investigation is likely to take sufficient time and no useful purpose will be served by keeping the accused behind the bars for indefinite period.
“Both sides, prosecution as well as counsel for accused, had played the CCTV footage in the court, which clearly shows that the police officials were also attacked by protesters. Even police vehicles were set on fire and its driver was beaten up. It is clear from the police file that Umranangal alone was not commanding the cops,” reads the order.
The court order said that from the statements of some protesters, it is clear that they have named DIG Ranbir Khatra, DIG Amar Singh Chahal and SSP Sukhminder Singh Maan and other police officials who were pressuring them to lift the dharna.
Umranangal’s counsel Sant Pal Singh Sidhu told court that the IG was arrested for political gains. Umranangal was arrested illegally after he was called for a meeting even as he had appeared before the SIT twice, his counsel said.
He contended that Umranangal, then Ludhiana police commissioner, was not leading the police at Kotkapura as two senior officers, additional director general of police (ADGP) Rohit Chaudhary and IG (Bathinda zone) Jatindra Jain were present in the district. Umranangal has been granted a blanket bail from the Punjab and Haryana HC.
The court has asked Punjab Police to give him seven-day advance notice before initiating any action in criminal cases registered against him in the 2015 police firing incidents.