The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed immediate transfer of the Kurukshetra District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police, Deputy Superintendent of Police and Station House Officer of Shahbad police station “to a far-off place at inconsequential posting”.
In the detailed judgment released Tuesday, the court also ordered a CBI probe into the murder of a Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) resident, allegedly by members of Gau Raksha Dal in Kurukshetra, while he was transporting a buffalo from Shahbad.
Justice Fateh Deep Singh had on Monday disposed of a petition moved by a Saharanpur resident Tahir Hassan, who lost his son Mustain (27) in the incident. Mustain went missing after the intervening night of March 5 and 6 after he was attacked by Gau Raksha Dal and his friends succeeded in saving their lives. The body was found on April 2 from a drain in Kurukshetra.
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Justice Singh ordered that to ensure a fair investigation, District Magistrate Rajnarayan Kaushik, Superintendent of Police Simardeep Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police Vijay Deswal and Station House Officer of Shahbad police station, Inspector Rajesh Kumar, should be transferred “to a far-off place at inconsequential posting within 15 days of this order and ensure that they are not given postings where they could wield influence in the investigations and intimidate the witnesses and shall not be posted in this area till the conclusion of the trial.”
With a view to stop such incidents in future, Justice Singh in his strong order, directed Haryana DGP and chief secretary “to ensure that such so called vigilante groups working under the garb of ‘Gau Raksha Dal’ are not allowed to take the law into their own hands and to initiate immediately appropriate steps in this direction.” Not only this, the court also directed to initiate appropriate administrative action immediately against all those found responsible and to submit action taken report to the court.
Directing the Haryana DGP to ensure all support to the CBI after handing over case record within 10 days, the court also ordered that protection of life and personal liberty of the petitioner’s family during the investigations and trial should be ensured. Justice Singh also said that in case the CBI feels that it is essential, they may after adopting due recourse and after obtaining appropriate sanction in the light of wishes of the family of the deceased, exhume the body and get the post-mortem conducted afresh.
Justice Singh mentioned, “The state police has lost its credibility even by its self-contradictory stand that it had earlier set up in the Murthal (Jat reservation violence) incidents whereby this court has taken suo-motu cognizance of such state of treatment meted out to helpless women by such goons under political patronage under the very nose of high ranking officials of the state, which is another feature which impels this court to hold that since the authorities have failed to perform their duties and there is every likelihood that even now they may not come up with the truth.”
The court said it was necessary to hand over the case to CBI to instil confidence in the people after “absolute reticence shown by the local administration” as there is every likelihood that “local police to save its officers and on account of political overtones is not likely to investigate this ugly incident in its entirety.”