Mukha ‘fake encounter’ case: Court frames murder charges against nine cops
The police had later claimed that the cops were looking for a gangster, Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, and Mukha got killed “by mistake”.punjab Updated: Mar 23, 2018 12:35 IST
A local court on Wednesday framed murder charges against nine policemen, including a sub-inspector (SI) and an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), in an alleged fake encounter of local Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Mukhjit Singh Mukha in June 2015.
“On the order of additional sessions judge Jagmohan Singh, charges were framed against the nine policemen,” said advocate Punit Zakhmi, counsel of Princepal Singh, the complainant and nephew of deceased Mukha Singh. He said the court adjourned the hearing for April 12, seeking evidences.
Mukha (37), Akali Dal in-charge of ward 16 in Amritsar, was shot dead by a police team on June 16, 2015, near Mudhal village in Amritsar district, when he was coming in his Hyundai i20 car from Verka, where he lived.
The police had later claimed that the cops were looking for a gangster, Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, and Mukha got killed “by mistake”.
When Mukha’s family countered the police theory claiming that he was killed intentionally, a case of attempt to murder against him was registered on SI Ramesh Kumar’s statement that he had opened fire at the police team and was killed in the retaliatory firing.
The nine cops were posted at the Division-A police station at the time of alleged encounter.
Claiming police inaction, the family moved the court in February 2016, seeking a case under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code against the police team.
In July that year, a special investigation team (SIT) of police partially vindicated the family’s stance, and found no evidence of Mukha attacking the cops in the first place first. Eight of the policemen were booked on July 6, 2016, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304 of IPC) and not murder as the victim’s family was demanding.
The court on August 8, 2017, summoned the nine cops as murder accused, while senior superintendent of police (SSP Amritsar rural) Parampal Singh — who was deputy commissioner of police (DCP Amritsar city) then — was summoned under Section 201 for causing disappearance of evidence of offence
Those summoned on murder charges are SI Ramesh Kumar, ASI Joginder Singh, and head constables Jasbir Singh, Sandeep Kumar, Ranbir Singh, Raj Kumar and Rajesh Kumar, and constables Satinder Singh and Navjot Singh.
On October 24 last year, the court granted bail to all the accused.
The complainant’s counsel on Thursday said the court proceedings differed for SSP Parampal Singh who got a stay from the Punjab and Haryana high court till May 31.
Mukha’s widow Harjit Kaur had alleged that the family was pressurised for a compromise through offers of money and threat of false cases. She also lodged a petition in the high court to demand arrest of the accused, compensation of ₹50 lakh from the police department and a government job.