New SIT struggles to decipher pile of documents in Behbal Kalan case

Summarising 4K pages of probe reports mammoth task: Official

New SIT struggles to decipher pile of documents in Behbal Kalan case

A month after the state government reconstituted the special investigation team (SIT) into the October 2015 Behbal Kalan police firing incidents, the SIT officials are caught in making a head or tail out of the thousands of documents of past five years of investigation besides more than 20 writ petitions involving the incident. - File photo

Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 16

A month after the state government reconstituted the special investigation team (SIT) into the October 2015 Behbal Kalan police firing incidents, the SIT officials are caught in making a head or tail out of the thousands of documents of past five years of investigation besides more than 20 writ petitions involving the incident.

This SIT headed by IG Naunihal Singh was reconstituted after earlier SIT head IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap put in his papers following the quashing of his probe into the Kotkapura police firing incident. Both incidents took place in mid-October 2015 when cops opened fire at people who were protesting against a series of sacrilege incidents.

The separate SITs into both incidents were reconstituted in mid-May this year. While the Kotkapura SIT headed by ADGP LK Yadav has hogged limelight and even summoned ex-CM Parkash Singh Badal, the other SIT is so far understanding the content of the documents.

“It is quite a quagmire. There are more than 4,000 pages of investigation. And nearly 95 per cent of it is the same line of probe followed by the disbanded Kotkpaura SIT having IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap as the key investigator. This was quashed by the High Court. Also, both incidents had same reasons and other than some police officials, the seniors were almost the same,” said an official privy to the functioning of the new SIT. He said in contrast to the new Kotkapura SIT, the Behbal Kalan probe panel has to determine where to start the investigation and proceed thereafter. The biggest trouble is the more than 20 writ petitions, court directions and notices. “The SIT officials have sent several queries for a legal opinion so that there is no controversy later,” the official said. Besides IG Naunihal Singh, Mohali SSP Satinder Singh and Faridkot SSP Swarandeep Singh are the members.

This SIT has not summoned any high-profile person so far. Sources said the SIT is making a summary of all the documents, and will proceed thereupon.

Legal opinion sought to avoid controversy

  • An official privy to the functioning of the new SIT says in contrast to the new Kotkapura SIT, the Behbal Kalan probe panel has to determine where to start the investigation from
  • The biggest trouble is the more than 20 writ petitions, several court directions and notices
  • “The SIT officials have sent several queries for a legal opinion so that there is no controversy later,” the official says

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