Behbal Kalan, Kotkapura probe: SIT had agreed to “collectively” work, evaluate evidence

  • IGP submitted chargesheet bypassing the SIT chief, other members despite guidelines that SIT will jointly “draw up conclusions” 
  • The then Punjab DGP Suresh Arora approved file, appointing Prabodh Kumar as SIT Chairman

Manish Tiwari | Chandigarh

Punjab police IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh filed the chargesheet in the Kotkapura firing incident bypassing the Special Investigation Team (SIT) Chairman Prabodh Kumar and other members, despite clear guidelines that the SIT probing the sacrilege cases and Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing incidents will “collectively” evaluate evidence and draw up conclusions, it is learnt.
Sources privy to government and police records informed
Daily World that soon after the SIT was set up by the then Punjab DGP Suresh Arora on September 10, 2018, Prabodh Kumar and four other members had agreed upon and signed the guidelines, one of which said that the evaluation of evidence and drawing up of conclusions will be done by the SIT “collectively”.
A document to this effect was signed on September 12, 2018 by all five police officers, including the SIT chairman, IG (Crime) Kunwar Vijay Pratap, IG (Crime) Arun Pal Singh; SSP (Kapurthala) Satinder Singh and now ADCP (Amritsar) Bhupinder Singh.
While the chargesheet in the Behbal Kalan firing case was filed after evaluation of evidence and drawing up of conclusions by all five SIT members, in the Kotkapura case, IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap filed the chargehseet at his own level without consulting the other members and following the said guidelines, sources said.
It is learnt that while setting up the five-member SIT to probe sacrilege cases as well as Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing incidents, on September 10, 2018, the then DGP Suresh Arora had approved on the file that ADGP and Director (BoI) Prabodh Kumar
will be the Chairman of the SIT. Since the SIT was set up by the Punjab DGP, no government notification was ever issued in this regard, they said.
Senior police officers said that a chargesheet is prepared and finalised only after drawing up of conclusions that is the most vital part of any probe. Since the probe is being carried out by the five-member SIT, all other members, including its chairman must have been kept in the loop, they added.
After reports of serious differences among the probe officers in the past couple of months regarding the investigations were being carried out and the challan was being finalised, Acting Punjab DGP V K Bhawra had on Monday convened a meeting of all SIT members and issued clear instructions to them to take all future decisions collectively. The DGP had also strictly directed the SIT members not to share the details of the meeting with the media.
It may be mentioned that Daily World had published an exclusive news report on May 31 that IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh was never shifted out of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to probe sacrilege cases and Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing incidents during the SAD-BJP regime after an Election Commission of India (ECI) order. The report said he attended meetings, prepared case diaries, including on April 28 and May 10 and even signed the chargesheet on May 23, while the code of conduct was in force.
The Daily World report also brought out that soon after the chargesheet was filed, other members of the SIT headed by ADGP Prabodh Kumar had dissociated themselves with the challan, informing the State DGP that they were neither consulted nor shown the chargesheet by IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap. The members also expressed reservations about the contents of the chargesheet, sources added.

Govt grants sanction to prosecute IG Umranangal, others

The Punjab Government has given sanction to prosecute IGP Paramraj Umranangal, former SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma, ADCP Paramjit Singh Pannu, DSP Baljit Singh and SHO Gurdeep Singh Pander in the Kotkapura firing incident. The file granting the prosecution sanction was cleared at the level of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday, following a reference from the State Home Department, government sources said.
Earlier, Punjab’s Acting DGP V K Bhawra had sent the case to the State Home Department, seeking the sanction within days of filing of the chargesheet in the Kotkapura case by IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh.
swIn this regard, the Punjab police had filed a case against the above officers under IPC Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 and 341 and under the Arms Act. According to the chargesheet, the probe is still continuing against former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Ferozepur MP and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and former DIG Amar Singh Chahal and several others. Several top IPS officers besides former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and the then deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, have already been questioned by the SIT in connection with the firing incidents.

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