Probing the police firing cases at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura in which two persons were killed, the special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab Police has alleged that a local rank sub-inspector was deputed as the SHO of the Kotkapura police station to deal with protesters due to his proximity with an IGP.
The IGP, Paramraj Singh Umranangal, and then SHO Gurdeep Singh, have been nominated as accused in the Kotkapura police firing case.
In the chargesheet, filed against former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and IGP Umranangal in the Behbal Kalan murder case, the SIT claimed that Gurdeep Singh was a local rank sub-inspector of the PAP cadre. Saini deputed him temporarily with the intelligence wing and he was further attached with then Bathinda range IGP Umranangal. Umranangal allotted Gurdeep Faridkot district where the then SSP, Charanjit Sharma, deputed him as the SHO Kotkapura, alleged the SIT. Sharma is also an accused in the Behbal Kalan firing case.
In the police, a non-gazetted official who is on the verge of his retirement and has a clean record is granted local rank of inspector or sub-inspector so that he may step into a new and final phase of life with some dignity and improved status. These officials are not entitled to get any extra pay or allowances and benefits of seniority over enrolled police officers by virtue of having held such local rank and are not generally posted as SHOs and in charge of the police post.
Alleging that the police officers tried to trap ‘peaceful’ protesters in false cases so that the accused officers could claim an alibi of self-defence for killing two protesters, the SIT alleged both FIRs against the protesters at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura were written in the office of the DSP Kotkapura in the presence of Umranangal.
It is quite interesting that in the FIRs against the protesters in Kotkapura and Bebhal Kalan on October 14, 2015, there is one police constable, Surinder Kumar of Fazilka, who had been shown as injured in the hands of protesters at both places, the SIT claimed.
Alleging involvement of Saini in the firing incidents at both places, the SIT claimed in the chargesheet that there were 22 phone calls between Umranangal and Saini on that day.