It’s six years late but finally justice will be done: Sippy Sidhu’s kin
From holding protests and candlelight marches to moving representations and objecting to CBI’s closure report, brother Jasman Preet Singh and mother Deepinder Kaur knocked every door over the past six years for justice in the murder of Sukhmanpreet Singh, alias Sippy Sidhu.
On Wednesday, after the arrest of Kalyani Singh, daughter of justice Sabina Singh, the acting chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh high court, for her alleged involvement in the murder, the family finally heaved a sigh of relief.
“Though it is after six years, but finally justice will be done,” said Sippy’s mother Deepinder Kaur, 65, and brother Jasman Preet Singh, 37, residents of Phase 3B2, Mohali.
A national-level shooter and corporate lawyer, 34-year-old Sippy was shot dead at a Sector-27 park in Chandigarh on September 20, 2015. For over six years since, his family had been accusing Kalyani, Sippy’s former girlfriend, of being involved in the murder.
“She (Kalyani) wanted to marry him but her proposal was refused by Sippy’s family. Sippy had leaked her objectionable photos to her parents and friends, which had caused embarrassment to Kalyani and her family,” said the CBI, while attributing motive to the murder.
“The day he was murdered, Sippy had told me that Kalyani wanted to meet him. Ever since the murder, we have been saying that she is involved in killing my son, as we turned down her marriage proposal. She killed him,” alleged an emotional Deepinder, a homemaker.
“I cannot forget him even for a second and will fight for justice till I am alive,” said Deepinder, who, along with her family, has been holding blood donation camps and lighting candles at the Sector-27 park, where Sippy was murdered, on his death and birth anniversaries.
A rifle shooter, Sippy had won the team gold along with Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra in the Punjab National Games in 2001. Representing Punjab, he had been on the shooting circuit for more than 15 years and won medals at various shooting competitions. He was also a joint secretary of the Paralympic Committee of India. A sports promoter, who organised events to provide platform to youngsters, Sippy was also proprietor of the “Sippy Sidhu Law Firm”, based in Chandigarh.
Family relation goes back to more than three decades
Their family’s relations with justice Sabina’s family go back to over three decades, said Jasman Preet, a legal adviser to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
“My late grandfather, Justice SS Sidhu, was a former Punjab and Haryana high court judge and late father, IPS Sidhu, was the additional advocate general of Punjab. We had close relations with Kalyani’s family and she knew Sippy since childhood. But we refused her marriage proposal owing to her relationships with others. We had clearly told this to her family, but could have never imagined that it will result in Sippy’s murder,” he claimed.
Justice Sabina’s influence delayed probe: Brother
“Justice Sabina was a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court when the murder took place. The police were hesitant to even question Kalyani,” alleged Jasman Preet, while talking about the delay in investigation.
“It was only on our representations that she was transferred to Rajasthan in 2016 and things started moving. Now that she is retiring next year, CBI has finally taken action,” he said.
“We will be pressing for justice Sabina’s impeachment, as her daughter is a prime suspect in a murder case, so how can she be expected to deliver justice. We will be meeting the Union law minister to also seek action against her for shielding her daughter and creating false evidence. Kalyani’s family had supported her alibi that she was at a birthday party when the murder took place, despite evidence that she was present at the park,” claimed Jasman Preet, accusing her family of creating and supporting fake evidence.
“But her arrest now has rekindled our hopes that Sippy’s murderers will not go scot-free,” he said.
Lapses of Chandigarh Police hampered probe: CBI
The family has been blaming the Chandigarh Police for delaying the investigation. “Even after the probe was transferred to CBI, Chandigarh Police didn’t cooperate,” said Jasman Preet.
Even CBI, in its untraced report submitted before a CBI court in December 2020, had squarely blamed the lapses of Chandigarh Police officials behind impediment of investigation.
The CBI had stated, “Certain lapses have been found on the part of Inspector Poonam Dilawari, then SHO of the Sector 26 police station, and Guriqbal Singh Sidhu, then ASP, in the destruction of evidence.”
The investigating agency had further stated that for lapses at initial stages of investigation, which seriously handicapped the progress of investigation, regular disciplinary action for major penalty against Poonam and Guriqbal is recommended.
“Despite CBI recommendations, no action or inquiry was initiated against the police officials,” alleged Jasman Preet.
Timeline: Family’s crusade for justice amid twists and turns
September 20, 2015: Sippy Sidhu shot dead at a park in Sector 27, Chandigarh
October 10: Kalyani, his former girlfriend and daughter of serving Punjab and Haryana high court judge, justice Sabina, questioned by police
October 14: Sippy’s kin submit a representation to the chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court against justice Sabina
October 17: Kalyani questioned again
November 30: Accusing the police of shoddy probe, Sippy’s kin hold candlelight march outside the residence of the UT IGP in Sector 5, give representation to the UT adviser
December 12: Sippy’s friends and relatives pay floral tributes to him at the Sector-27 park
December 14: Chandigarh Police move an application in a local court, seeking permission to conduct brain-mapping and lie-detection tests on Kalyani, a suspect in the case
December 24: Sippy’s family stage silent protest near PM’s residence in New Delhi
January 22, 2016: UT administration recommends CBI probe into the murder
January: Investigation transferred to CBI
April 13: CBI registers FIR
June 4, 2016: Justice Sabina transferred to Rajasthan high court after representations by Sippy’s family to the President, Chief Justice of India ,and the then acting chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court that she was influencing probe
September: CBI announces ₹5 lakh reward for anyone providing clues to aid investigation
December 6, 2020: CBI gets permission for polygraph test of two suspects
December 7, 2020: CBI submits final report saying investigation was inconclusive, but mentions “strong suspicions” about the role of Kalyani to eliminate Sippy
December 10: CBI increases cash award for clues to ₹10 lakh
December 14: CBI directed to continue investigation and file report after conclusion
May 30, 2021: CBI seeks one-month to file the status report regarding further investigation
October 2021: Justice Sabina transferred to the Himachal Pradesh high court
May 23, 2022: Justice Sabina appointed as acting chief justice of HP high court
June 15: Kalyani arrested from her house in Sector 42, Chandigarh, after being found “evasive and deceptive”.
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