Table of Contents
An Overview of Behbal Kalan Case
On October 14, 2015, a deeply concerning incident took place in Faridkot district, Punjab, India. After the hardent request of police officers, the mob went out of control.
As a result, there was a clash between police and the mob. The police misfired and scattered the mob. The incident not only resulted in the tragic loss of two lives, Gurjeet Singh of Sarawan village and Krishan Bhagwan Singh of Niami wala village, in Behbal Kalan but also left several other protesters severely injured in Kotkapura.
After the incident, the first charge sheet was filed against former Moga SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma in April 2019. Later, the SIT filed a charge sheet against four accused, including SP Bikramjit Singh in October 2020 followed by the charge sheets against PS Umranangal and Sumedh Singh Saini were filed in January.
Subsequently, in a statement released by the police, it was explicitly stated that the directive to fire into the air was intended to disperse the agitated crowd. The law enforcement officers on the scene dutifully adhered to the magistrate’s orders.
However, on several statements issued by the police officials, they cleared the fact that additional police force was ordered to reach there including former IG Paramraj Singh Umranangal. They acted as a supporting force led by DGP Sumedh Singh Saini.
In a significant development in the Behbal Kalan police firing case, the Special Investigations Team (SIT) led by Punjab IGP Naunihal Singh has submitted a status report in the court of Faridkot additional sessions judge. While the status report in the Kotkapura firing case was filed earlier, the investigation into Behbal Kalan is yet to be completed.
Behbal Insaaf Morcha Protests
Activists from the Behbal Insaaf Morcha have been protesting at Behbal Kalan village in Faridkot, demanding that challans be filed in court after completing the investigations in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan police firing cases.
Faridkot Judge’s Orders
After reviewing the status reports, the Faridkot additional sessions judge stated that the reports would be kept in safe custody and the matter would be adjourned to April 29, awaiting the further status report. Additionally, accused Sumedh Singh Saini has already moved an application for exemption under Section 205 of CrPC.
Confidentiality and Pending Investigation
In light of the confidential information contained in the report that could impede the pending investigation, the Faridkot additional sessions judge, Rajiv Kalra, has ruled that no party shall be allowed access to the report.
“The sealed cover containing the status report of the investigation of the Kotkapura incident shall be kept by the reader of this court in his safe custody,” he added.
Present SIT Investigation Team
The Kotkapura firing incident is being investigated by an SIT led by the additional director general of police LK Yadav, while another SIT led by the inspector general of police Naunihal Singh is probing the Behbal Kalan incident.
The Bottom Line
The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine.
Unfortunately, justice has been delayed in the case of the tragic incident that took place in the Faridkot district on October 14, 2015. However, with the recent filing of the status report by the SIT, we can hope for a final verdict from the court soon. As we await the verdict, it is crucial to have faith in the judicial system and work towards maintaining peace in society. Let us strive to uphold the values of justice and democracy, and ensure that such incidents never occur again.