30 years on, Punjab Police tell high court that encounter in which militant was 'killed' was staged : The Tribune India

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30 years on, Punjab Police tell high court that encounter in which militant was 'killed' was staged

Punjab Police tell Punjab and Haryana High Court that the incident was stage-managed and the FIR registered by falsifying facts

30 years on, Punjab Police tell high court that encounter in which militant was 'killed' was staged

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Tribune News Service

Saurabh Malik

Chandigarh, December 9

Nearly 30 years after Sukhpal Singh allegedly died in an encounter in which “militant” Gurnam Singh Bandala alias Neela Tara was shown to have been killed, Punjab Police have told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the incident was stage-managed and the FIR in the matter was registered by falsifying facts.

The special investigation team probing the matter had previously told the high court that the investigation had established Sukhpal Singh was missing since July-August 1994. It was also established that an unidentified person was killed in a police encounter in the jurisdiction of Morinda police station in Ropar district and an FIR was registered on July 29, 1994, for attempt to murder and other offences under Section 307 and 34 of the IPC, and the provisions of the Arms Act and TADA (P) Act.

It was claimed by the police that “terrorist Gurnam Singh Bandala was allegedly the person killed in the police encounter”. However, it came to light subsequently that Bandala was alive and he was arrested by the Batala police on October 9, 1998, in another case.

In the latest affidavit, special director-general of police-cum-chairperson of the special investigation team Gurpreet Deo has stated: “During the investigation of the case FIR number 63 dated July 29, 1994, under Section 307, 34 of the IPC, 25-54-59 of the Arms Act, and 3/4/5 of the TADA (P) Act, at police station Morinda, Ropar district, it was found that the said police encounter in the case was stage-managed and the FIR is registered by falsifying facts.”

The high court was also told that the SIT, after taking opinion from Ropar district attorney (legal), has registered a fresh FIR, number 76, on October 21, 2023, under Sections 166A, 167, 193, 195, 196, 200, 201, 203, 211, 218, 221, 222, 420 and 120-B of the IPC at Singh Bhagwantpura police station in Ropar district against then SP(D) Parmaraj Singh, the DSP Jaspal Singh and ASI Gurdev Singh for fabrication of evidence under the IPC. The matter was currently under investigation by the SP (Headquarters), Ropar.

The petition in the matter was filed in 2013 by the victim’s wife, Dalbir Kaur, and his father Jagir Singh of Kala Afghana village through counsel R Kartikeya.

The matter has now been disposed of by Justice Vinod S Bhardwaj after taking a note of the developments.

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