ASI found dead after scuffle with farmers
As cops came out in large numbers to thwart the attempt of farmers to block rail traffic in the border districts of Amritsar and Tarn Taran on Wednesday, the focus of the agitation shifted from farmers to an assistant sub inspector (ASI), whose "mysterious" death led to counter-protests by his relatives and well-wishers, forcing the top brass of the Punjab Police to take a decision to book nine farmers.Updated: Mar 06, 2013 22:13 IST
As cops came out in large numbers to thwart the attempt of farmers to block rail traffic in the border districts of Amritsar and Tarn Taran on Wednesday, the focus of the agitation shifted from farmers to an assistant sub inspector (ASI), whose "mysterious" death led to counter-protests by his relatives and well-wishers, forcing the top brass of the Punjab Police to take a decision to book nine farmers.
"We are registering a case under section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against nine kisan leaders. We have identified them. The case will be registered at the Sadar police station," Tarn Taran SSP KS Dhillon told the media here on Wednesday.
The ASI, Kulbir Singh, incharge of the Manochahal police station, was found dead during a raid in Geobala village of this district at around midnight. He was leading a police team to make preventive arrests of certain kisan leaders who were to take part in the "rail roko" agitation on Wednesday.
While the cops were rounding up farmers, a scuffle ensued between them and the policemen, who fled as they were outnumbered. A couple of hours later, the body of the ASI was found by another police team patrolling in the area at a distance of 2 km from Geobala.
Though the top brass of the police, including ADGP (law and order) Dinkar Gupta, IGP (border range) RP Mittal, DIG (border range) Paramraj Singh Umranangal and SSP KS Dhillon, were all present in the town, none came forward to clarify the reasons for the death. The initial input which was given by the police was that the reasons for the death were not known.
Farmer leader Salwinder Singh of Geobala village told the media, "None of our leaders was involved in the scuffle with the police. The ASI was fine when he left the village."
However, as the post-mortem examination of the ASI was taking place in the civil hospital, his family members, along with about 200 relatives and well-wishers, blocked the Amritsar-Tarn Taran road by squatting on a bridge. The protesters shouted slogans against the farmers and alleged that the ASI was murdered while he was performing his duties.
The dharna lasted for two-three hours, prompting the top police brass to call an emergency meeting, where it was decided to book nine farmer leaders.
The officers did not even wait for the post-mortem report and took the decision after considering the seriousness of the protest by the family members of the ASI.
IGP Mittal met the family members of the deceased officer at the civil hospital and expressed his condolences. He also conveyed the condolences of his DGP and other police officers and assured the family all help.
(For details read tomorrow's hindustantimes)