Kotkapura firing case, which took place in 2015, has gone through numerous twists and turns in the past. As per the latest update in one of the high-profile and politically motivated cases, district and sessions court has adjourned hearing in ig umranangal kotkapura case to Jan 4.
The court has also instructed the defense that they should file a reply in the two applications submitted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).
Court Dismisses IG Umranangal’s Plea Seeking Call Details of SIT Members
Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh (one of the key members of SIT), also filed an application in the sessions court on the last hearing. The application contained an appeal that the call details of all the five mobile numbers from the copies of the supplementary chargesheet, provided to the accused, should be excluded. IGP Umranangal seeks call details of the SIT in his application but the court dismissed his plea.
Mr. Kunwar also informed the court that the revelation of these details to the accused would not be in the interest of justice particularly at this stage of the case.
These numbers belong to TS Gill (then Deputy Commissioner of Moga), Amar Singh Chahal (then DIG now IG), and Harjit Singh (then Superintendent of Police,Moga).
Following the submission of a supplementary chargesheet, Special Investigation Team has also filed another application, on November 15, in the court of judicial magistrate Ekta Uppal.
As per the chargesheet, the team has appealed not to provide compact discs and DVDs, submitted in the form of electronic evidence, to the accused.
PS Umranangal Gets an Exemption by the Court on Personal Grounds
As per Gursahib Singh Brar ( counsel of PS Umranangal ) SIT informed the sessions court, on the last hearing, that they received the confirmation for their application from the court of judicial magistrate, however, they confirmed that no such order was passed by the lower court.
Furthermore, they added that the sessions court has given them consent that they need to file a reply on the application. The application filed by the investigation team, requesting exclusion of the call details of all five mobile numbers, is yet to receive a reply from then DSP of Kotkapura Baljit Singh and former BJP MLA Mantar Brar, while other accused filed the reply.
All five accused in the case, then Ludhiana additional deputy commissioner Paramjit Singh Pannu, former senior superintendent of police Charanjit Singh Sharma, then Kotkapura station house officer Gurdeep Singh Pandher, then Kotkapura deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Baljit Singh, and Mantar Singh Brar, appeared before Kuldeep Kumar Kareer (district and sessions judge).
PS Umranangal was given an exemption by the district and sessions court on personal grounds. On March 27, Special Investigation Team probing the Kotkapura firing case had filed a 2,000-page chargesheet against six accused involved in the case.
The investigation agency also submitted two supplementary chargesheets with additional evidence in the court. On August 7, 2018 a case under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (causing to hurt), and 341 (wrongful restraint) was registered against the accused.
Later, the investigation team added more Indian Penal Code sections comprising of 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (giving incorrect information or causing disappearance of evidence), 218 (public servant framing incorrect record), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
Sacrilege Case: Justice Has Been Delayed, Says Randhawa
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa (Punjab jails and cooperation minister) acknowledged that the case has been delayed in Behbal Kalan and Bargari sacrilege incident. He also gave an assurance that the accused will not be spared.
Mr. Randhawa addressed volunteers, seeking justice in Behbal Kalan and Bargari sacrilege incidents, from various Sikh organizations who were congregated at his residence at Dhirowali village in Dera Baba Nanak (a town in Gurdaspur district in the state of Punjab).
The protesters even asked him to desert his native village or leave the government as he is competent to bring the real culprits to justice. Acceding to the demands, he also became a part of the sit-in.
The minister was of the view that he agrees that justice has been delayed. He also added that it is sad that the people involved in the wrongdoings are out on bail, some of them didn’t even go to the jail and some of them even managed to get bails as well.
Alas, one of the innocent and respected police officials – Paramraj Singh Umranangal got detained by Special Investigation Team. He again accepted that the case has been delayed, he will keep his words of punishing the guilty.
The minister further added that they had taken a pledge, in Talwandi Sabo and Bathinda, that they will bring the real culprits to justice. He said that they are well-aware of all the real culprits and who is behind all the wrongdoing, but unfortunately, they are not being brought to justice.
IG Paramraj Singh Umranangal Bargari Case Has Been Politicized
The whole case has been politicized and everyone is making their best efforts to save their positions. Earlier, Bittu and his accomplices were arrested and he even confessed being the mastermind behind the act of sacrilege in front of the judicial magistrate Moga, under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Now that he is not anymore, his self-confession of involvement in the case should be considered and on the basis of that, his accomplices should be prosecuted before the law.
Mr. Randhawa added that their government will punish the accused otherwise the Guru will not forgive them. Earlier, the protesters asked him to leave the village or leave the government.
In reply, he said that he will choose to leave the government but not leave his native village. He added that he will have a word with the Chief Minister and he will put forward the demand of the protesters.
Political interference is quite visible in this case. Ideally, police and politics should function independently. Since the case has the involvement of some of the prominent political leaders and bureaucrats, they are putting forth their best efforts to safeguard their positions.
Political parties (whether the ruling party or the ruling party at that time) and politicians can be seen blaming each other, nobody has taken a concrete step towards solving the case and bring the real culprits to justice. Every party is projecting the things that are beneficial from a political point of view.
Mohinder Pal Singh Bittoo is Key Accused in Bargari Sacrilege Case
At this stage, it is clear from the CCTV footage and the call records of Mantar Singh that everything was pre-planned. The concerned person, present on the ground zero, was there to safeguard the protesters. Moreover, he was following orders from his superiors and he was in no position to take any personal decision.
Besides, state police was not enough to handle the gathering, owing to which police force from nearby divisions was called in to handle the situation.
Going through all the evidences reports from various probing agencies most importantly Ranbir Singh Khatra which also led to the arrest of Mohinder Pal Bittu Bargari sacrilege case key accused, and video evidence, it is clear that the case has been politicized and the real culprits are being protected.
At this stage, it is clear that only air fire was ordered, this goes to prove that IG Umranangal has no role in giving the firing orders and he is being wrongly framed in the case.
The case is still in the court, so it is baseless to make a point of view on the basis of unclear facts. Let us trust in the judicial system and may the truth prevail.