Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Posted at: Mar 14, 2019, 7:42 AM; last updated: Mar 14, 2019, 7:42 AM (IST)

No medico-legal reports of police firing victims, says SIT

Files status report, blames police pressure, then MLA of Kotkapura
No medico-legal reports of police firing victims, says SIT
A damaged police vehicle after clashes with activists of Sikh organisations at Kotkapura in Faridkot. File photo

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, March 13

Identifying former Akali MLA Mantar Singh Brar as the prime accused in the police firing on Sikh protesters at Kotkapura on October 14, 2015, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Punjab Police in a sealed cover report to the Faridkot District and Sessions Judge alleged that many persons injured in the incident were not given treatment and their MLRs (medico-legal reports) were not prepared deliberately under police pressure and influence of Brar, then MLA and halqa incharge of Kotkapura.

Saying halqa chiefs were in a commanding position, mainly in the matters of police stations at that time, the SIT in its status report to the court revealed that besides the then Chief Minister, Director General of Police (DGP) and all higher-ups in the administration, Mantar was also in touch with the then Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal through his officer on special duty at that time. All this shows his motive and conduct, connecting him with the police firing incident, claimed the SIT.

Brar’s considerable influence over the administrative machinery in decision-making is obvious with the records of phone calls he had made to the DGP between 3.19 am and 3.22 am on October 14, 2015, said the SIT.

In its sealed cover status report, the SIT has submitted details of telephone calls between Brar and Station House Officers (SHOs) of Kotkapura and Bajakhana on October 14, 2015 — the day when police firing incidents took place at both places.

There were a total of 157 telephone calls made and received by Brar from 5 pm, October 13, to 1 pm, October 14. It shows that Brar was in touch with many persons from SHO to DGP and the Chief Minister.

During the course of investigation, Brar was summoned two times and he was completely non-cooperative and tried to mislead the inquiry team. It stated that he was a very influential person, in a position to pressure the witness and tamper with the evidence in the case. It said his custodial interrogation was required to find out the truth.

Notably, a week after Brar was nominated as an accused in the Kotkapura police firing case, he applied for anticipatory bail in the court of Sessions Judge, Faridkot, on Wednesday. On March 19, the court will hear argument on this application.


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