Punjab Police against naming cops in Behbal Kalan firing FIR

Even as the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission has recommended slapping of murder charges against 10 cops in the incident involving police firing at Faridkot’s Behbal Kalan in 2015, the Punjab Police are against including any of their men by name in the first information report (FIR), it is learnt.

Two protesters were killed in the police firing after a clash on October 14, 2015. A case was registered at Baja Khana police station on October 21, seven days after the incident. Even a fresh FIR the police registered on Tuesday in the Kotkapura firing that also took place on same day does not mention cops by name.

Officials privy to the development said the FIR registered in the Behbal Kalan incident under Sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) on October 21, 2015, will be forwarded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is going to take over the case soon.

The FIR was registered on the recommendation of the special investigation team (SIT) headed by additional director general of police (ADGP) IPS Sahota on charges of murder against “unknown policemen”. The FIR, however, states that the police party that fired at the protestors was led by then Moga senior superintendent of police (SSP) Charanjit Sharma.

Confirming this, director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora said they will not lodge the FIR against cops by name.

“That existing FIR already has the names of Sharma and other cops,” he claimed while speaking to HT on Wednesday.

On the basis of the Ranjit commission report, the state home department has recommended to include the 10 cops (who were part of the police party that clashed with the protesters) by name in the FIR.

Those cops are then Moga SSP Charanjit Sharma, then Bathinda SP Bikramjit Singh, inspectors Pardeep Singh and Harpal Singh (then SHO of Ladowal in Ludhiana), sub-inspector Amarjit Singh and four constables.

After the commission ordered to slap a fresh case of “attempt to murder” in the Kotkapura firing that was done to disperse the protesters, an FIR was registered at the Kotkapura police station on the DGP’s orders.

Officials privy to the development said when the home department recommended registration of case by name against senior police officials, DGP Arora put his foot down by conveying to the government, including the chief minister, doing so will bring down the morale of the police force.

“It was conveyed to the government if senior officials are named in the FIR, it will be difficult for the police force to take charge in case a serious law and order situation arises in future,” an official said.

Some senior police officials also raised apprehension about such action at a time when pro-Khalistan campaigns such as ‘Referendum 2020’ are run by some outfits, particularly those based abroad. They said it will amount to raising the radicals’ morale.

They said nobody has uttered a single word about the 40 policemen who were seriously injured in the clash and no attempt was made to find out who attacked them.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 09:23 IST

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