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10 cops summoned in murder case of Akali leader killed ‘by mistake’ in Amritsar

The family of the deceased moved court in February last year, underlining police inaction and seeking a case under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the police team.

punjab Updated: Aug 30, 2017 19:48 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Mukhjit Singh Mukha,Punjab police,Amritsar police
Family members of Mukhjit Singh Mukha, a local leader of the SAD, who was shot dead by a police team on June 16, 2015.(HT Photo)

A local court on Wednesday summoned 10 policemen, including the senior superintendent of police (Amritsar-rural), as accused for the murder of Mukhjit Singh Mukha, a local leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), in an alleged fake encounter two years ago.

Mukha, 37, SAD in-charge of ward 16 in Amritsar, was shot dead by a police team on June 16, 2015, near Mudhal village, when he was coming in his Hyundai i20 car from Verka, where he lived. Police sources later said they were looking for a gangster, Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, and Mukha got killed “by mistake”.

However, while Mukha’s family said he was killed intentionally, police registered an FIR of attempted murder against him on sub-inspector Ramesh Kumar’s statement that “Mukha had opened fire at the police and was killed in the retaliatory firing”.

The family moved court in February last year, underlining police inaction and seeking a case under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the police team. In July that year, a special investigation team (SIT) of the police partially vindicated the family’s stance, and found no evidence of Mukha’s attacking the police team first. Eight cops were booked on July 6, 2016, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder (section 304 of the Indian Penal Code) and not murder.

However, the victim’s family was seeking section 302. Now, the court has held nine cops accused of murder, while SSP Parampal Singh — who was deputy commissioner of police (DCP) of Amritsar city police then — has been summoned under section 201 for causing disappearance of evidence of offence.

Those summoned on murder charges include sub-inspector Ramesh Kumar, assistant sub-inspector Joginder Singh, and head constables Jasbir Singh, Sandeep Kumar, Ranbir Singh and Raj Kumar, for September 8. The summons have come on a complaint by Principal Singh, nephew of the deceased, in the court of Rajan Aneja, judicial magistrate (first class), said Punit Zakhmi, counsel of the complaint.

The cops were all posted at the Division-A police station.

It must also be noted that cops booked under section 304 on July 6 last year remain in service. “A year has passed since the FIR was registered, but no arrest has been made. This is enough to expose the attitude of the police,” said Mukha’s widow, Harjit Kaur. The family also alleged pressure for a compromise through offers of money and threat of false cases.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 19:35 IST