2015 police firing: As HC orders new SIT, kin of those killed say justice looks farther now

Fearing that the HC order will have a bearing on the Behbal Kalan firing case as well, they said probe by a new SIT will delay the justice further
Punjab and Haryana High Court building in Chandigarh (HT file)
Punjab and Haryana High Court building in Chandigarh (HT file)
Published on Apr 11, 2021 01:55 AM IST
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By Parteek Singh Mahal, Faridkot

A day after Punjab and Haryana high court quashed the probe reports submitted by Punjab Police’s special investigation team (SIT) in connection with 2015 Kotkapura firing, the families of Gurjeet Singh and Krishan Bhagwan Singh, who were killed in the police firing at Faridkot district’s Behbal Kalan on October 15, 2015, say justice has not been delivered to them even after more than five years.

Fearing that the latest development will have a bearing on the Behbal Kalan firing case as well, they said probe by a new SIT will delay the justice further. A high court bench had asked the Punjab government to constitute a fresh SIT excluding IGP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh.

Family members say they have been left “disillusioned” by the state government and political parties which raise the issues of sacrilege and police firing, with no intent to take the cases to their logical end. They also announced to hold a protest on April 13 against the delay in getting justice at Kotkapura chowk where police firing had taken place on October 14, 2015.

Gurjeet Singh of Sarawan village and Krishan Bhagwan Singh of Niamiwala village had died in police firing on October 14, 2015, while protesting against the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib. Besides, many people were seriously injured. They had joined a demonstration at Behbal Kalan bus stand to protest against the Bargari sacrilege incident on October 12. Earlier that day, the police had also opened fire on the protestors at Kotkapura in which several persons were injured.

Sukhraj Singh, son of Krishan Bhagwan Singh, said political parties are playing politics in the name of providing justice. “Even five years after losing my father, I am waiting for justice,” he said.

“The state government has gone soft on the issue and did not pursue the matter properly in the high court. Despite being a sensitive matter, advocate general Atul Nanda had continuously missed hearings in the high court,” he added.

Gurjeet’s father Sadhu Singh said, “I have lost hope that the government will provide justice to my innocent son, who was killed by the police.”

Gurdit Singh, one of those injured in police firing at Behbal Kalan, said, “The incident jolts me till date as I saw people bleeding. The SIT had completed the probe recently, giving us some hope. But now justice looks afar.”

As per record, 44 cops, including an IG-ranked official, were injured in the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan incident. The health authorities of Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, civil hospitals at Faridkot and Kotkapura had issued 44 MLR reports of cops, confirming their injuries.

A head constable (retd) Rashpal Singh, who suffered injuries in the clashes, had also filed a plea demanding transfer of the case to the CBI or speed up the probe into the initial FIR of 2015 Kotkapura violence registered on the complaint of policemen. The plea had argued that challan filed in the 2018 FIR revealed that it has been filed by IGP Singh alone without the assent of four other SIT members.

The injured policemen have been left as mute spectators in the political fight between the two regimes and the SIT is hell-bent to implicate the senior police officials by conducting investigation in a biased manner and also by suppressing real facts from the court, the plea had alleged.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021