Swords on campus: 13 acquitted in Panjab University clash as key cops fail to depose despite 43 chances
The case dates back to November 8, 2010, when an intra-party rivalry converted PU into a battleground when supporters of two factions of Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) used sticks and swords.punjab Updated: Mar 17, 2018 23:03 IST
A local court on Friday acquitted 13 former students of Panjab University in a case of rioting that made headlines in 2010. The remaining three accused were declared proclaimed offenders (PO). This came about as the evidence was apparently not enough after sub-inspector Pargat Singh, the complainant, was never examined by the prosecution, and even the investigating officer (IO) never appeared before court, despite 43 opportunities given to them.
Those acquitted by the court of judicial magistrate, first class, (JMIC) Harleen Pal Singh are Arshbir, Ravinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Bhavjit Singh, Resham, Simrandeep Singh, Gurjeet Singh, Manish Kumar, Vikramjit Singh, Uday Singh, Simranjeet Singh Dhillon, Gurbir Singh Dhillon and Ranjodh Singh.
The three fugitives now are Sukhjit Singh Brar, Gurinder Singh and Jagpreet Singh.
The case dates back to November 8, 2010, when an intra-party rivalry converted PU into a battleground when supporters of two factions of Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) used sticks and swords.
The clash broke out after members of a group headed by Sukhjit, a self-styled acting president of PUSU, were putting up posters at the Student Centre. When members of the other faction objected, an argument began and spiralled into violence, according to reports. Police said that when they reached the spot, youngsters were hurling soft-drink bottles at each other. One of them was held from the spot. While no student was critically wounded, the FIR mentioned that S-I Pargat Singh of Sector-11 police station received injuries.
Defence counsels Terminder Singh and SPS Bhullar argued that the prosecution could not prove the case as there were multiple contradictions during the cross-examination of witnesses, and that the main complainant never turned up in court. They also pointed out that one of the constables, Jaswinder Singh, said he couldn’t recall who caused the reported injury.
The case was registered as per Indian Penal Code sections for rioting, causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty, criminal intimidation, and criminal conspiracy.