Maur Mandi blast: Revoked passports of two accused, Punjab Police tells HC

The twin blasts occurred on January 31, ahead of the February 4 assembly elections in Punjab in 2017 in which seven persons were killed and 25 were injured. The SIT filed a challan before trial court on January 29, 2020 but none of the accused persons have been arrested.
The court has disposed of the contempt plea observing that it hoped police would continue with the efforts to arrest the three accused. (HT file)
The court has disposed of the contempt plea observing that it hoped police would continue with the efforts to arrest the three accused. (HT file)
Published on Apr 11, 2021 12:35 AM IST
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Punjab Police have told the Punjab and Haryana high court that passports of two of the accused in Maur Mandi blast case of 2017 have been revoked and proceedings in the case of third are underway.

The state police made these submissions were made in the contempt of court proceedings before the high court initiated on the plea of one Gurjeet Singh Patran. He had alleged that court orders of September 25, 2018, January 30 and September 17, 2020 have been violated by the police as the Special Investigating Team (SIT) had not made any tangible progress and has failed to arrest anyone to date.

The twin blasts occurred on January 31, ahead of the February 4 assembly elections in Punjab in 2017 in which seven persons were killed and 25 were injured. The SIT filed a challan before trial court on January 29, 2020 but none of the accused persons have been arrested.

Police have told the court that passports of accused Gurtej Singh and Amrik Singh have already been revoked and revocation proceedings of the passport of the third accused Avtar Singh has also been initiated. After September 2020 order of the high court, four teams have been constituted under the supervision of SP (investigation) Bathinda. These have conducted 50 raids at houses of relatives and their sympathisers, but no clue of whereabouts of the accused were found.

The police have also told the court that verification of movable and immovable properties of the accused persons has been conducted. No property was found to be registered in the names of Avtar and Gurtej. A tractor and a scooty have been found registered in the name of Amrik. The regional transport officer concerned has been requested not to transfer these vehicles from his name, the police said adding that a piece of land was also found registered in his name in Sirsa. A letter has been written to the deputy commissioner to make a revenue entry of the, case so that said piece of land is not transferred to any other name, police added.

The court was also told that a three-member technical team has been formed to coordinate and assist AIGs, Bathinda range, to provide inputs to apprehend the proclaimed offenders and lookout notice too have been issued.

Taking note of these submissions, the court has disposed of the contempt plea observing that it hoped police would continue with the efforts to arrest the three accused.

No mention of Dera Sacha Sauda head

The high court order does not mention anything with regard to demand of questioning Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. It was alleged that even as the vehicle used in the blasts was assembled in a workshop of the dera, he has not been associated with the probe. Ram Rahim is undergoing a jail term in two rape cases in Haryana’s Rohtak jail.

Initially, the plea was filed in May 2018, seeking probe by an independent agency. It was disposed of by high court in September 2018, with the court expressing its satisfaction with the probe. In December 2018, Patran again approached high court, demanding its revival alleging that main accused has still not been arrested. This plea too was disposed, giving two weeks to arrest accused persons. The contempt plea had been filed alleging the violation of this order.

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