January 29, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Hoshiarpur, Punjab (January 28, 2014): It is learnt that a retired Sessions judge HL Randev, who had probed the enforced disappearance of Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s kin and an ex-sarpanch of Ambala Jattan Kuljit Singh Dhatt, appeared in the court of additional sessions judge JS Bhinder Hoshiarpur on January 27 to testify the report submitted by him to the Supreme Court in 1993.
According to Hindustan Times (HT): former Judge “had indicted five Punjab policemen including then SP (operations) SPS Basra, Dasuya DSP AS Sandhu, Dasuya SHO Jaspal Singh, Tanda SHO Sardul Singh and Garhdiwala chowki in-charge Sita Ram for abducting and allegedly eliminating Dhatt who was also, at that time, a director of Bhogpur sugar mill. On the basis of the Randev commission report, the SC had ordered registration of a case against the accused cops. Three of the surviving accused SPS Basra, Jaspal Singh and Sita Ram are facing trial. All three were present in the court”.
According to a news reported by YesPunjab.Com: “As alleged by the deceased’s family, Kuljit Singh Dhatt was picked by the police from Garhi village in the district on July 23, 1989 and allegedly eliminated in an encounter”.
The police had maintained that he was taken into custody on the intervening night of July 25 and 26, but he escaped the same night when he was being taken for recovery of weapons. On the directions of Supreme Court of India, the government had appointed then Jalandhar range DIG JP Birdi as inquiry officer.
According to HT: Cops were earlier booked for criminal conspiracy, abduction and illegal confinement but, after the SC rap, amended the FIR and invoked sections 364 (abduction with motive of murder), 365, 466, 218, 201 and 120-B of the IPC.
It may be recalled that during 1980s-90s illegal confinements, enforced disappearances, custodial torture, fake encounters and secret cremations had become a common policing practise in Punjab.
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