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In a significant development regarding the Behbal Kalan police firing case of October 2015, 7 witnesses have come forward accusing former Inspector General of Police Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who is now an AAP MLA, of exploiting the case for political mileage. They claim that he twisted their statements and made arrests without sufficient evidence.
The witnesses have filed an application in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Damanpreet Kamal Heera, accusing Kunwar Vijay of distorting their statements to further his own agenda.
They have requested the court to direct the Special Investigation Team (SIT) responsible for investigating the Behbal Kalan firing case to record their fresh statements according to Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc.). The court has instructed the Bajakhana Station House Officer to submit a report by July 3.
In May 2021, a new SIT led by IGP Naunihal Singh was formed, but they have not yet filed an additional chargesheet.
The incident occurred on October 14, 2015, when two Sikh protesters, Gurjeet Singh of Sarawan village and Krishan Bhagwan Singh of Niamiwala village in Faridkot district, were killed while demonstrating against the sacrilege incident.
The application was filed by Krishan Bhagwan’s sons, Sukhraj Singh and Prabhdeep Singh, his father Mohinder Singh, and four key witnesses: Sarabjit Singh, Amritpal Singh, Amandeep Singh, and Karamjit Singh.
They argue that the arrests made by Kunwar Vijay in 2020 were “illegal” and claim that – “The officers who were present in Kotkapura at the time were also shown present in Behbal Kalan, which isn’t possible,” they stated.
“Just to use the case for political mileage, high profile officials and people were made accused by Kunwar Vijay,” they added.
Additionally, the witnesses allege that Gursewak Singh Bhanna, Nirmal Singh, and Sukhdev Singh Lambwali were falsely presented as eyewitnesses in the case, despite not being present at the scene. They argue that “He (Kunwar Vijay) manufactured their statements to suit his story in the probe.
Witnesses Allege Unfair Conduct
The witnesses also claim that an accused individual was made an approver, while the witnesses themselves were treated as accused. They mention “Suhail Singh Brar and then Kotkapura station house officer Gurdeep Singh Pandher were witnesses in the case but were made accused.” Source – hindustantimes.com
In 2020, the main accused, Inspector Pardeep Singh, who was the reader to former Moga SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma, was granted pardon after becoming an approver upon the SIT’s request. However, “while making Pradeep approver his complete statement was not recorded as there is no mention of him attacking protesters,” they alleged.
Kunwar Vijay Defends Investigation & Alleges Conspiracy to Divert Attention
In response to these accusations, Kunwar Vijay maintains that his investigation was conducted correctly and fairly.
The AAP MLA also said, “Three years after recording their statements, now they have moved court. They have simply turned hostile. This is a big conspiracy to divert the people’s attention as a miscarriage of justice has already been done.”
He further added, “Present SIT, constituted by the state government in 2021, has failed to file even a single chargesheet in two years. My investigation still stands as the writ petition filed in the high court by the accused seeking quashing of chargesheets in the Behbal Kalan case was dismissed in July 2022.” The petition dismissal was due to the formation of a new SIT by the state government.
It is worth mentioning that in April 2021, the Punjab and Haryana High Court invalidated all chargesheets filed by Kunwar Vijay as a member of the SIT in the Kotkapura firing case, ordering the formation of a new investigation team. Following this, Kunwar Vijay resigned from the police service and joined the Aam Aadmi Party, successfully contesting and winning the MLA election in Amritsar North.
Other Facts in The Behbal Kalan Firing Case
Previously, the former Inspector General of Police Paramraj Singh Umranangal expressed his willingness to undergo the narco analysis test multiple times, provided it adheres to the Supreme Court guidelines. Even, he gave written permission for a narco-analysis test, following the guidelines set by the Supreme Court.
He stated, “I am willing to undergo the narco test multiple times, but it should also be conducted on Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. This will help reveal the truth as he investigated the case with a clear bias and falsely implicated me, even in the Behbal Kalan case, with malicious intentions. However, I was not present at Behbal Kalan on the day of the incident (October 14, 2015, when two protesters were allegedly killed in police firing).” Source – timesofindia.indiatimes.com
These recent developments add another layer of complexity to an already intricate case. The accusations leveled against Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh highlight the need for a fair and comprehensive investigation, where all parties involved are treated impartially and the truth is uncovered.
An objective approach is crucial to addressing these allegations due to their complexity and the differing perspectives presented. The court proceedings and the actions of the SIT should be conducted with transparency, impartiality, and adherence to the principles of justice.
Ultimately, the truth behind the Behbal Kalan firing incident needs to be established, and those responsible for any wrongdoing should be held accountable.
We await further updates on the court’s decision. The pursuit of justice must remain the primary focus, keeping in mind the affected families and the public’s faith in the fairness of the legal process.