Court allows key Behbal Kalan firing accused to turn approver

Court allows key Behbal Kalan firing accused to turn approver

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, September 15

The District and Sessions Court today allowed the request of a special investigation team (SIT) seeking pardon for Inspector Pardeep Singh, a prime accused in the Behbal Kalan police firing case.

On September 10, IGP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh had appeared in the court and claimed making Pardeep an approver would strengthen the prosecution’s case against the main culprits.

Will help unravel firing case: SIT

  • The SIT had claimed prime accused Pardeep Singh would be a key witness for the prosecution to unravel the sequence of events relating to the incidents
  • The duty magistrate had on September 3 recorded Pardeep’s statement, a day after the SIT moved the court seeking pardon for him
  • Pardeep had named a DGP-rank officer and a senior Akali leader as accused in the police firing incidents at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan, sources said

Resham Singh, brother of one of the persons killed in the firing, and Charanjit Singh Sharma, a former SSP and one of the prime accused in the case, had opposed the SIT move to make Pardeep an approver.

The SIT had claimed it was up to the probe agency, prosecution and court to take a call on whether to allow an accused to turn approver in a criminal case. Neither Resham nor the other accused had the right to raise an objection.

The duty magistrate had on September 3 recorded Pardeep’s statement, a day after the SIT moved court seeking pardon for him.

Sources said in his 18-page statement in the court, Pardeep had named a DGP-rank officer and a senior Akali leader as accused who allegedly played an instrumental role in the police firing at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan on October 14, 2015, in the aftermath of the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala villages.

The SIT had claimed Pardeep would be a key witness for the prosecution to unravel the sequence of events relating to the incidents and also unmask the perpetrators at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura.

Opposing the SIT, Resham Singh had claimed Pardeep had played a major role in the police firing, so he could not be granted pardon. The counsel for Charanjit Singh Sharma had said proper procedure was not followed in recording Pardeep’s statement in the court.

The IGP, who is leading the SIT probing the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan police firing cases, said they had moved an application under Section 306 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in the Behbal Kalan firing case, which had been accepted by the Faridkot court.

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