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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

Ex-cop gets 6-year jail for abduction, disappearance of constable in 1993

cities Updated: Sep 19, 2019 00:48 IST
Hindustantimes
         

Almost 26 years after disappearance of a constable who as per record was last seen in the custody of Punjab Police, the CBI special court, Mohali, on Wednesday convicted a retired inspector and a constable.

Retired inspector Joginder Singh was given six-year jail for abduction and disappearance of constable Gurinder Singh (who was in his 20s) of Partap Nagar, Patiala, in 1993. The court also imposed a fine of ₹25,000 on Joginder, who was convicted under Section 365 (abduction) and 344 (wrongful confinement) of the IPC.

Joginder was awarded three-year jail in 2013 for the disappearance of Gurinder’s brother Balwinder from police custody. He was Patiala Division 4 SHO and Jagjit Singh was posted at Civil Lines police station there when Gurinder went missing.

Constable Jagjit Singh was convicted under Section 212 (public servant framing incorrect record ) and he was released on probation of one year. Jagjit was asked to furnish probation bond of ₹20,000 with one surety, along with ₹10,000 as litigation expenses.

A case was registered in 1994 on the complaint of Dharam Singh, who had alleged that his sons Balwinder Singh and Gurinder Singh (both in their 20s) had been abducted by cops from Partap Nagar, Patiala, and subsequently eliminated. The Punjab and Haryana high court handed over the probe to the CBI in 1997.

"Joginder Singh being in-charge of the police station was required to act in accordance to the law but he not only illegally abducted Gurinder Singh but also kept him in illegal custody," ruled NS Gill, CBI special judge, Mohali, while awarding six-year-jail term, turning down cop’s plea of leniency.

OF BRIBE AND BROTHER

The CBI investigations revealed that inspector Joginder Singh was part of the police team that picked Balwinder from his house in Patiala on March 26, 1993, and kept in illegal confinement. On April 2, 1993, his father Dharam Singh approached Joginder for the release of his son and the cop demanded ₹20,000 in bribe. Joginder also asked Dharam to produce his other son, Gurinder (also a police constable), before the police.

As per the deal, Dharam paid ₹10,000, a scooter to the cop and also produced Gurinder before the police. The accused cop instead of releasing Balwinder, also took Gurinder into custody, the CBI said in the chargesheet (submitted in 2000).

Police then registered a false case against Gurinder, showing recovery of a 12-bore pistol and two cartridges from him. Later, police claimed that Gurinder escaped from police custody on April 23, 1993. Gurinder could never be traced after that.

VICTIM’S FATHER NOT ALIVE TO SEE COPS’ CONVICTION

Dharam Singh, who had taken on the policemen when both his sons disappeared after being taken into custody by the police, is not alive to see the conviction of the cops. Nirmal Kaur, sister in law of Gurinder, said she will appeal in the high court for enhancement of the sentence to at least life term.

COP’S SECOND CONVICTION

The CBI special court, Patiala, on March 26, 2013, awarded three-year jail to retired inspector Joginder Singh in a case involving disappearance of Gurinder's brother Balwinder, who too was shown to have escaped from police custody when he was being taken for recovery of evidence in connection with a case registered against him under sections 224 and 307 of the IPC at Bhawanigarh police station. His whereabouts were never known. Like Gurinder, Balwinder, too, could never be traced.