Gurdaspur, Punjab: Two inquiries initiated by the state government into the death of Jaspal Singh, a young engineering student by Punjab Police on March 29.
Under pressure from a local and international Sikh community, the government had initiated two probes – one by a special investigation team (SIT) led by DIG (Border range) Ram Singh and the other by the Commissioner, Jalandhar Division, Anurag Verma.
“Most witnesses in the two probes being the same, the contents of both the inquiry reports are expected to be the same. There can be a serious problem if there are conflicting reports,” said a senior police officer.
The SIT, which has Taran Tarn SSP Manminder Singh and Jasdeep Singh, SP (Headquarters), Amritsar (Rural), as members, has sent the bullet recovered from Jaspal’s body to the government forensic science laboratory at Mohali. Indian authorities have long sheat of history of tampering evidence; example Jessica Lal murder case in New Delhi.
Ram Singh said the father of the deceased, Gurcharanjit Singh, as well as Ranjit Singh, who had suffered bullet injuries, were key witnesses but the police had yet to record their statements.
“Jaspal’s father will appear before the SIT on May 3 to have his statement recorded,” the DIG said. Senior officers, pleading anonymity, claimed that the then SSP Varinder Pal Singh, who had been suspended, was being made a scapegoat. It is also to be noted that under Indian law, two police officals who were suspended and charged should be in jail but state government didn’t do so.
They said he had “only acted on instructions of the executive magistrate who had issued written orders to open fire at the crowds.”
Sources said the weapon from which shots had been fired had not been sent to the forensic laboratory. Meanwhile, DIG Ram Singh clarified that the SIT was only ‘looking’ into the sequence of events that had led to violence in the town on March 29.
The main concept of not sending weapon to forensic laboratory shows that the state government is not serious in any of these probes and it is evident that Jaspal and his family will not get justice from highly biased and corrupt police authorities. Such probes should be given to independent authorities such as CBI rather than guilty party themselves (Punjab Police).