Justice Ranjit Singh panel — set up to investigate all cases of desecration of all religions in Punjab — has summoned two IG-rank officers, Paramraj Singh Umranangal and Jitendra Jain and retired SSP Charanjeet Sharma in connection with Behbal Kalan police firing in 2015. Two protesters, who were part of the group protesting against the alleged desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, were killed in the firing incident.
“Paramraj Singh Umranangal has been summoned to appear before the Commission in the last week of July. Jitendra Jain and Charanjeet Sharma have also been summoned. Charanjeet Sharma has been summoned to appear before the Commission next week,” said Justice (retd)Ranjit Singh. While Umranangal was Ludhiana police commissioner, Jain was Bathinda IG at the time of Behbal Kalan firing. Charanjeet Sharma, who was Moga SSP at the time of incident, retired on April 30.
Singh said a couple of SSPs had already appeared before the commission and recorded their statement. He added that the panel had already recorded the statements of more than 50 policemen. Last month, the commission, it has been learnt, had taken exception to policemen seeking adjournments and not appearing in person. In a communication to Punjab DGP on June 23, the commission wrote: “It is noticed that police officers/officials are invariably seeking adjournment to appear before the Commission by addressing a communication to the Hon’ble Chairman.Appropriately, the police officers/officials summoned should appear on the date fixed and then make request, if any. In this way, they can be bound down to appear on the given date.”
The communication further read, “In view of the urgency and constraints of time at the disposal of the Commission to complete its task, it is imperative that all the police officer/official witnesses summoned, present themselves at the date and time when they are summoned. This will avoid exchange of unnecessary communication.” Following this letter, DGP’s office wrote to the top officers asking officers/officials in question to ensure that they appear in person before the commission when summoned and send a request (seeking adjournment) only in “extreme unavoidable circumstances”.