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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

FIR registered against suspended ASI in Punjab; charges mere eyewash, say families

The accused has been booked for causing injuries voluntarily and wrongful confinement while the families demanded charges for attempt to murder

punjab Updated: Aug 09, 2018 09:38 IST
Navrajdeep Singh
Navrajdeep Singh
Hindustan Times, Patiala/Amritsar
Accused ASI Narinder Singh
Accused ASI Narinder Singh(HT Photo)

Two days after an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) was accused of torturing and assaulting seven youths at the Sanaur police station, a first information report (FIR) in the case was registered against accused ASI Narinder Singh on Wednesday.

One of the victims, Amardeep Singh, is admitted to the Government Rajindra Hospital after he fell unconscious at the police station.

He has been booked under Sections 323 (punishment for causing injuries voluntarily) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code. These charges come under bailable offences, while the victims’ families and Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira were demanding a case of attempt to murder and hurting religious sentiments. They also demanded chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s intervention into the case.

Meanwhile, Mandeep Singh Sidhu, senior superintendent of police (SSP) said, “The case has been registered on the basis of the initial inquiry report submitted by superintendent of police (SP) Kesar Singh.”

Sidhu said that deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Gurdev Singh Dhaliwal will be the investigation officer of the case and will look into all the aspects in detail to see the role of other policemen present at the time of the incident at Sanaur police station.

Over the offences in the FIR that the accused ASI was charged with, SSP Sidhu said more sections will be added if required but only a detailed investigation into the case.

Meanwhile, the SSP has also ordered a departmental inquiry against Sanaur SHO Gurinder Singh Bal for his “causal approach” in handling the whole episode. “An inquiry has been ordered against SHO Bal for lack of control over his subordinates. Necessary action will be taken against him too on the basis of findings of the inquiry officer,” he said.

Family not satisfied with fir

Showing their dissatisfaction over the FIR registered against the ASI, Amardeep’s family said the lenient charges were mere eyewash and the police were trying to tone down the issue.

“The ASI and other cops involve in the case must be booked under stringent sections as they have destroyed my son’s life. He has been traumatised to extent that it would take years to forget such horrible experience,” said Sukhwinder Kaur, Amardeep’s mother.

Human rights panel seeks report

In addition, taking suo motu of the case, Punjab state human rights commission has sought a report into the matter from state home department through additional chief secretary.

Notably, deputy commissioner Kumar Amit has already ordered a magisterial probe into the matter.

Spotlight on incident

The incident took place around 10pm on Sunday, when the accused ASI, along with a constable, had intercepted the way of seven youths, all in their 20s, who were visiting Patiala to attend a religious function at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib.

It was alleged that ASI Narinder Singh, in an inebriated state, stripped the youths at Sanaur police station and allegedly resorted to third degree torture and physical assault on them with sticks and leather belts. The victims also alleged that the ASI asked them to cut the hair from each other’s private parts.

Victim Amardeep, a baptised Sikh, alleged that the cop forcefully took him to a secluded place and forced liquor into his mouth.

Political interference

Meanwhile, former Union minister Preneet Kaur, senior Congress leader Lal Singh, Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi, former SAD MLA Surjit Singh Rakhra and others visited the hospital to meet the victim.

“Both the DC and SSP have been directed to complete their respective inquiry reports so that stringent action can be initiated against the erring cops,” Preneet said.

SGPC forms 4-member panel to probe incident

AMRITSAR The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Wednesday constituted a four-member committee to probe the incident of Sanaur police station.

SGPC’s additional secretary and spokesperson Diljit Singh Bedi said, “To probe the Sanaur police station incident, SCPCchief Gobind Singh Longowal has constituted a committee comprising SGPC members Jarnail Singh Kartarpur, Jathedar Jasmail Singh Lachhru, president of Dharam Parchar Committee Bhai Baldev Singh and manager of Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, Patiala, Karnail Singh.”

Bedi said Longowal has also directed the committee members to submit their report within three days, after thorough investigation.