Case file of leading Punjab doctor’s murder in 1983 missing, admits police
Virsa Singh Valtoha, who went on to become MLA twice on Shiromani Akali Dal ticket, was named as one of the accused in the murder of Dr SK Trehan in his clinic in September 1983 but the case was never brought to its logical conclusion by police.Updated: Jan 13, 2019 21:04 IST
Police have finally admitted that the file of the case involving the infamous 1983 murder of prominent doctor Sudarshan Kumar Trehan has gone missing.
Dr Trehan was murdered in his clinic in Patti town of Tarn Taran on September 30, 1983.
Virsa Singh Valtoha, who went on to become MLA twice on Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ticket, was named as one of the accused in the case that was never brought to its logical conclusion by police.
Inspector general of police, Amritsar range, SPS Parmar said he had marked an inquiry to Tarn Taran senior superintendent of police Darshan Singh Mann in December seeking a report from hhim.
“The SSP has informed me that the case file is missing from the Patti police station,” Parmar said.
“I have given instructions to the SSP to ‘reconstruct’ the case file of the FIR number 346 from the VRK (vernacular record keeping) branch where case dairies, files of absconders and proclaimed offenders, cancelled/untraced cases are maintained.
“In addition to getting the file reconstructed, the SSP has also been asked to submit a report into the role of the police officials responsible for its disappearance and not reporting the matter all these years,” the IGP added.
An investigation by HT and the Punjab Human Rights Organisation has exposed the hushing up of Dr Trehan’s murder all these years due to the police-politician nexus that helped Valtoha hide the fact that he was never acquitted in the case.
An FIR in the case was registered against unidentified persons on the day of the murder. A year later, police took on remand Hardev Singh, who was then lodged in the Nabha jail in other criminal cases.
During interrogation, Hardev confessed that he along with Valtoha and Baldev Singh were behind Trehan’s murder. On the basis of his confession, Valtoha was named as an accused.
Although Valtoha was arrested from the Golden Temple during the Operation Bluestar in 1984 and was detained in the Jodhpur and Tihar jails, the police in the Dr Trehan murder case surprisingly told the court that he was absconding and they could not arrest him despite their all-out efforts.
The police on the basis of false submissions got Valtoha’s arrest warrants issued and later the court ordered them to comply with Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to set in motion legal procedure before declaring an absconding accused a proclaimed offender.
Valtoha got bail in the case in February 1991 but the police never presented a supplementary charge sheet (challan) against him.
IGP Parmar said the connivance of police officials who never bothered to report the case and conduct an inquiry into disappearance of the file cannot be ruled out.
The PHRO under Justice Ajit Singh Bains (retd) in its complaint to the IGP had raised points regarding issuance of clearance reports from the Patti police station for Valtoha’s applications for passport, arms licence and security besides the posts he held during the Akali regime
Parmar said they will also look into the lapses on the part of the police officials who as per the procedure have to submit quarterly reports regarding files and case property.
‘Will seek CBI inquiry against Valtoha’
As the murder case against former SAD MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha is under the spotlight again, Punjab Congress general secretary Tejpreet Singh Peter Sandhu has said that he will file a public interest litigation in the court seeking an inquiry by the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) against him. “I have requested SAD president Sukhbir Badal to remove Valtoha from all posts. I also request the BJP-led union government to get the case investigated by the CBI,” he said.
First Published: Jan 13, 2019 21:04 IST