Amritsar, March 29
The conviction of three cops by the special CBI court in Mohali in the three-decade-old case of kidnapping, illegal confinement and disappearance of Baljit Singh of Tarn Taran’s Mallowal village has soothed the nerves of the family, but they wished that the accused should have been given harsher penalties.
“Their conviction has provided us a ray of hope for justice,” said Gurbhag Singh, an ex-serviceman and brother of the victim, while pointing out that they would file an appeal in the higher court after consulting with their lawyers for enhancing the quantum of punishment to life imprisonment.
Gurbhag Singh said his elder brother Baljit Singh (32) and his younger brother Paramjit Singh (30) were picked up by the Jhabal police in Tarn Taran in August 1991 when they were going to procure manure in the market. While Paramjit was let off, the whereabouts of Baljit Singh were not revealed by the police after keeping him in illegal confinement for three days. He was in the police station from August 9 to August 11, 1991, and the family members met him there, Gurbhag said.
Gurbhag had fought bravely in the Kargil war and was honoured by the Chief of Army Staff for his services. He was associated with the 22 Punjab Regiment and was posted at Pathankot when Baljit was kidnapped. He along with senior Army officers had visited police officials and the district administration from time to time, but did not inform them about the mysterious disappearance of his brother, he regretted.
“I fought for the nation at the international border, but the state turned their back on my family,” he rued.
Three cops, identified as then inspector Suba Singh, Ravel Singh and Dalbir Singh, were convicted and sentenced to five years or rigorous imprisonment by the special CBI court on Wednesday.
Advocate Sarabjit Singh Verka and human rights activist (counsel from the victim’s side) said they would go through the judgement and make an appeal in the higher court seeking enhancement of the quantum of punishment.
He said inspector Suba Singh stand convicted in four cases of similar nature by the Central Bureau of Investigation court while three more cases were under-trial.
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