IT WAS around 5.30 pm on January 5, 2011, when the parents of 5-year-old Khushpreet received a call from the police about the recovery of a body on Chandigarh-Mohali border. Khushpreet’s father along with other family members went to the spot and took no time to identify that the body was of his son who was kidnapped a few days ago. With the identification of the body, people’s anger against the police erupted in the shape of rioting at Burail.
The memories of the case are still alive in the minds of people at Burail even after five years. The family has moved on but there is dissatisfaction with the punishment and unfulfilled promises.
The family is not satisfied with the life sentence given to the three accused. The family is also not happy with the lighter punishments to three cops who, they said, did not take timely action to save their child even after they informed them in time. Khushpreet’s father had already filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2014 seeking death sentence for the convicts.
Recalling the incident, Khushpreet’s father Lakhvir Singh said that after his death, they were blessed with a daughter around two years ago and they also named her after Khushpreet. When asked about the punishment given to the people responsible for his son’s death, he said that they were dissatisfied.
“The accused were convicted for life, we wanted death penalty for them. We approached the HC. Such people could only be frightened with harsh punishments so that they could not kill the children of other people like they did with ours,” said Lakhvir.
On the punishments to the cops whom they said were responsible for not acting swiftly, Lakhvir said that they were actually angry over it as the cops who were merely suspended were now posted as SHOs at Sector 11 and Sector 17 police stations.
“What price have they paid? We went to the police immediately after we received the ransom call but they kept telling us to have patience and then they failed to nab the accused at Kharar when the trap was laid there. We lost our son, but they do not have any remorse,” said Lakhvir.
Khuspreet’s mother Kulwinder Kaur said that many politicians visited their house after Khushpreet’s death and promised that they would even name Burail as Khushpreet Nagar but everybody forgot it.
“I do not want any political mileage, we are from a humble background. But if it was named after him then what was wrong in it? Now we do not want any such thing as it would be an insult to our child,” said Kaur.
Khushpreet was kidnapped from his house on December 2, 2010. The family received a ransom call on the same evening. The police failed to recover the boy and finally on January 5, 2011, Khushpreet’s body was found on Chandigarh-Mohali border. Three persons — Sukhdev Singh alias Billa (40), his brother Gurwinder Singh (35) and their servant Nand Kishore — were convicted in April 2014. Three police officers were also suspended for not acting in time in the case.