11 cops convicted in 21 years old custodial death case

Bathinda, Punjab: Finding them guilty of eliminating a youth in the police custody more than 21 years ago, a local court has convicted 11 policemen including a DSP and an Inspector of police under murder charges. The DSP wanted to the police also in another murder case has already been declared proclaimed offender(PO) after he had jumped the parole whereas two policemen had died during the pendency of the case. The quantum of sentence will be awarded on January 14.

The Bathinda sadar police station personnel had picked up twenty five years Sikh youth Paramjit Singh on July 17, 1992 accusing him to be involved in terrorist activities. Paramjit then was working as fireman at the ammunition depot at Bathinda.

As per prosecution the police then had cooked story that when the police got Paramjit to a nearby village for the recovery of arms, some unknown persons had fired at the police party and Paramjit had fled from police custody. There was no trace of him till more than two years despite Paramjit’ father Gurdit Singh going from pillar to post to know about the whereabouts of his son. It was in October 1994 that when then Punjab and Haryana high court Judge RN Anand had visited Bathinda, Gurdit Singh prayed before him and the Justice Anand had asked then Bathinda sessions judge KS Garewal to probe the case. The court after investigation had found that the boy was killed in police custody. A murder case then was registered against 11 policemen and the family was provided Rs. 1.5 lac compensation as well.

Prosecution counsel Gurjit Singh Sidhu and ADA Kochhar said taking up the case on Friday additional sessions judge MP Pahwa convicted 11 policemen and announced to pronounce the quantum of sentence on January 14. The convicted policemen included DSP Gurjit Singh, who while cooling heels in Bathinda jail in the custodial death of another youth of Sherpur(Sangrur)had jumped parole in 2007 whereas two had died. The 8 alive convicted policemen includes inspector Barjinder Kumar, an ASI, head constables and two home guard men.

Deceased Paramjit Singh’ brother Sarabjit Singh said “the family is hoping to get justice after more than 21 years and we are waiting for the judgment day”. He said my father had died only last year while waiting for justice.

Source: TOI

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