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2015 Behbal Kalan firing: Victims want punishment for ‘monsters in khaki’

Victims even brought their burnt and the vandalised vehicles as evidence, accusing the police of having set these on fire. 

punjab Updated: Aug 18, 2017 09:39 IST
Nikhil Sharma
Nikhil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Faridkot
Behbal Kalan firing,Justice Ranjit Singh,Punjab police
Victims narrated their feelings to Justice Ranjit Singh (retd), a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court, on Thursday as he visited the village to probe the police action that had led to two men’s death and injuries to several. (HT Photo)

Wounds inflicted by the police firing on people protesting over sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in Behbal Kalan village of Faridkot in October of 2015 have healed, but the horror continues to give sleepless nights to the victims.Victims narrated their feelings to Justice Ranjit Singh (retd), a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court, on Thursday as he visited the village to probe the police action that had led to two men’s death and injuries to several.

Case so far
  • Jun 1, 2015: Guru Granth Sahib disappears from Jawahar Singh Wala village in Faridkot
  • Oct 12: Torn pages of the holy book found in Bargari
  • Oct 14: Police firing kills two villagers near Behbal Kalan
  • Oct 15: Justice Zora Singh Commission constituted
  • Jul 1, 2016: Zora panel submits report to Punjab govt; not made public
  • Apr 14, 2017: Capt Amarinder Singh government announces fresh commission to probe the sacrilege and the ‘follow-up’ incidents

A large number of villagers, who were eagerly waiting for his arrival, had gathered to get their statements recorded with the commission appointed in April this year by the Congress regime that had come to power in March.The new panel was formed as the report by the Zora Singh Commission appointed by the previous, SAD-BJP regime was deemed inconclusive by the new regime led by Capt Amarinder Singh.

As the ex-judge settled at a local gurdwara to record statements of the aggrieved villagers, he encountered simmering aggression and anger, coupled with teary eyes.Around 30 villagers recorded their statements while a few submitted affidavits claiming that the peaceful protest was turned into a violent nightmare by the police.

Gurdit Singh, one of the men injured, said, “We were shocked how senior police officials led the firing. We were sitting and protesting peacefully. I was serving food to the protesters and even the cops were having food with us. In no time, hundreds of cops started beating us and resorted to lathicharge. They opened fire, claiming two innocent lives. The incident jolts me till date as I saw people in blood. I cannot move my left arm till date.”

Victims even brought their burnt and the vandalised vehicles as evidence, accusing the police of having set these on fire.

“They were the monsters in khaki,” stated Dilbag Singh, another victim. “Unfortunately those behind the atrocities are holding influential positions in the police. I hope this will be the final commission which will lead us to justice. While our families suffered physical and monetary loss, the officers who ordered the firing must not enjoy peaceful lives,” he added.

The commission also visited the gurdwara in Bargari village outside which torn pages of the holy book were found on October 12, 2015.

Justice Ranjit Singh has said that the commission won’t even spare the SAD’s Badals — the then CM Parkash Singh Badal, and his son and deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal — if found connected with the case.

Pertinently, witnesses in the local court too had accused senior officers, including inspector general (IG) of police Paramraj Singh Umranangal, SSP Charanjit Sharma, SP Bikramjit Singh and SHO Amarjit Singh, of the firing.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 09:37 IST