Patiala, September 5
Over four years after the murder of Mohinder Pal Bittu, the prime suspect in the 2015 Bargari sacrilege case, in the Nabha jail, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has held the jail staff “guilty of negligence”.
PSHRC Chairperson Justice Sant Parkash and Member, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, recommended a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to his family.
Mohinder was killed in an attack by other inmates in the Nabha jail in June 2019. The PSHRC had initiated an investigation and the commission had sought reports from the government, the District Magistrate of Patiala, and the jail Superintendent.
The preliminary inquiry report by the then Judicial Magistrate, Patiala, indicated that Mohinder Pal was murdered by his inmates and, “There was negligence on the part of the jail authorities,” regarding his security.
A final inquiry report attributed the fatal attack to jail inmates Gursewak Singh alias Bhoot and Maninder Singh alias Jhumma.
Consequently, show-cause notices were issued to officials on duty in the jail. However the then Superintendent of Central Jail, Ludhiana, who was also the Superintendent of the New District Jail, Nabha, denied any negligence. “The attack was spontaneous and Mohinder Pal had left his cell without permission,” he had stated in his reply.
Later, disciplinary actions were taken against Jail Warder Major Singh, who was penalised with the stoppage of three annual increments with cumulative effect and suspension. PESCO Security Guard Lal Singh was absolved of negligence and charges against him were dropped.
“The government should provide Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased. An FIR should be registered against the inmates found prima facie involved in the murder,” the PSHRC stated in its orders.
Bittu, who was booked in the 2015 sacrilege cases and arrested three years later, was killed by two inmates Maninder Singh and Gursewak Singh, both serving life term for murder, with iron rods. Later, the Patiala police had filed a chargesheet against four persons, including the attackers.
Mohinder Pal Bittu, who was booked in the Bargari 2015 sacrilege case and arrested three years later, was killed by inmates Maninder Singh and Gursewak Singh, both serving life term for murder, with iron rods in Nabha jail.
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