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1994 Fake Encounter case: No faith in police inquiry, says rights panel chairman

October 2, 2014 | By

Chandigarh: The period of mid-1980s to mid-1990s was marred by wide-spread and systematic human rights abuses in Punjab. Custodial torture, extra-judicial killings, fake encounters and enforced disappearances had become common policing practice. In order to claim cash award, Punjab police fabricated the deaths of many Sikh militants by killing other persons while presenting the dead body to claim head money.

G. S. Sandhu

G. S. Sandhu

In a similar case a police team killed a youth in a fake encounter in Ropar in 1994 and declared that the body was that of Gurnam Singh Bandala who had bounty over his head at that time. Claiming that the deceased was Sukhpal Singh of Kala Afghana village in Gurdaspur, his family and the Majha Ex-Servicemen Human Rights Front are struggling to get justice for Sukhpal Singh.

Sukhpal Singh’s widow Dalbir Kaur and his father Jagir Singh have maintained all along that Sukhpal Singh had been eliminated in a fake encounter. Their contention gained strength when Gurnam Singh Bandala was found alive in 1997.

A number of police inquiries since then have not recommended action against the police team headed by then Ropar DSP Paramraj Singh Umranangal, now posted as IGP, Bathinda Zone.

Col. GS Sandhu (retd.) maintains that the police team killed Sukhpal to claim promotions and a cash award of Rs 25 Lakh. Col GS Sandhu (retd.), chairman of the Human Rights Front, said: “Umranangal has already got promotions despite the inquiries. We have no faith in the police.”

A petition seeking CBI inquiry into this matter lays pending before Punjab and Haryana High Court.

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