November 7, 2017 | By Parmjeet Singh
Chandigarh: Former Punjab police chief Sumedh Saini’s name has reportedly surfaced in the statements recorded by Justice Ranjit Singh Commission during its’ probe into incident of police firing on civilians in Behbal Kalan in October 2015. A report in some vernaculars note that the probe panel send a communication to Sumedh Saini asking him to appear before the commission but Saini reportedly failed to respond.
Media reports note that Sumedh Saini was asked to appear before the commission either personally or through his representative. He was also reportedly given the option of submitting an affidavit.
A report in The Tribune (TT) quotes Justice Ranjit Singh saying: “The commission is probing the incidents of sacrilege and suggesting preventive steps. It is recording evidence and summoning persons, including police officers and other witnesses, as and when circumstances so warrant.”
Notably, the Punjab police on Oct. 15, 2015 opened fire on Sikh sangat that was sitting on a peaceful dharna on a link road leading to Behbal Kalan village demanding action against culprits of beadbi of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari village. Two Sikhs were killed in police firing.
The state government failed to charge the police personnel responsible in this case. The then state-government led by SAD (Badal) and BJP combine had constituted an inquiry commission led by Justice Zora Singh which failed to identify those responsible for the police firing. After the change of government in Punjab, Capt. Amarinder Singh led Congress party government scrapped the report of Justice Zora Singh and formed a new commission led by Justice Ranjit Singh. This commission is yet to finish its probe.
Experts opine that such commission often fail to trigger any concrete judicial proceedings against the culprit police officials and serve as a tool to snub the issue. Human Rights activist and senior lawyer Advo. Rajwinder Singh Bains said that such commissions are formed to prevent and mislead the normal legal procedure in order to protect culprit police officials.
It is pertinent to note here that a people’s commission led by Markandey Katju, former judge of Indian Supreme Court, had fixed responsibility of police officials involved in the firing. The commission was appointed by various Human Rights groups and it was not recognised by the state government.
Full Text of Justice (Retd.) Katju Commission Report regarding Killings in Behbal Kalan, Punjab
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Related Topics: Advocate Rajwinder Singh Bains, Bargari Beadbi Case, Behbal Kalan Incident, Congress Government in Punjab 2017-2022, Congress Party, Incidents Beadbi of Guru Granth Sahib, Justice Ranjit Singh Commission, Justice Zora Singh Commission, Markandey Katju, People's Commission, Punjab Police, Punjab Politics