SIT, prosecution lax in pursuing Behbal Kalan case, says ex-IGP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh

Eight years down the line, justice in the Behbal Kalan police firing case is still elusive. On the eve of the eighth anniversary of the incident, former Inspector General of Police (IGP) and AAP MLA from Amritsar, Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, has accused the special investigation team (SIT), Faridkot police and the prosecution of soft-pedaling the trial in the case.

Family members of the victims of the Behbal Kalan police firing and some Sikh organisations will assemble at Behbal Kalan on Saturday to express their anguish for not getting the justice so far. Two persons were killed in the police firing in October 2015.

This attitude of the SIT, Faridkot police and the prosecution was resulting in some witnesses in the case turning hostile even before the commencement of the proceedings of the trial under the influence of the accused, alleged Kunwar Vijay in a letter to the Faridkot IGP.

Seven persons, including former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, suspended IGP Paramraj Singh Umranangal, former SSP Charanit Singh Sharma, SP Bikramjit Singh, then SHO Amarjit Singh Kular, Pankaj Bansal, a car agency owner of Moga, and Sohail Brar, an advocate, are the nominated accused in this case.

Giving the details of four challans filed by him in this case when he was a member of the SIT, the former IGP alleged that though these were presented in the JMIC court from April 2019 to February 2021, the prosecution never tried to pursue arguments on framing of charges against the accused in the sessions court.

The present SIT, constituted in May 2021, has not submitted any supplementary challan in the past two years and five months. Because of this shoddy approach, key witnesses had turned hostile, he further alleged. In June this year, some witnesses filed an application in the court, expressing their desire to change their statement. The SIT however did not file any reply to the application. Due to this indifferent approach, the accused were getting time to influence the case, he alleged, adding: “I have therefore decided to contest the case in my personal capacity.” Faridkot IGP Gursharan Singh Sandhu said the SIT and the prosecution were working as per law.

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