Describing the assault on IAS officer Kahan Singh Pannu as an attack on the Punjab government,Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday ordered the setting up of a four-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the incident.
This comes on a day when the Uttarakhand Police also registered a case against unidentified persons for attacking Pannu also the director general of school education in Punjab. Pannu was allegedly attacked by a mob of Sikh youth at Govind Ghat in Uttarakhand on Sunday while he was overseeing rescue operations.
State DIG Gautam Cheema,who had rushed to Uttarakhand on Sunday following the incident,has informed the state police that a case was registered by the Gobind Ghat police on Wednesday. The Punjab Police is also looking at the possibility of registering a cyber crime case under the IT Act in Mohali against the attackers for preparing a video of the attack and uploading it on the social media websites.
The SIT constituted by the police is led by IG (Security) Sanjeev Kalra and has DIG Gautam Cheema,DIG (Cyber Crime) Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh and Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar as it members.
The move to constitute the SIT comes in following a meeting of the members of Punjab IAS Officers Association with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday morning. Over 40 IAS officers,along with Pannu,met Badal and pressed upon him to take appropriate action in the matter.
Describing the assault on the senior IAS officer as an attack on the Punjab government, Badal assured the IAS officers that the police will get to the root of the incident to ensure exemplary punishment to the culprits. Later,he wrote to his Uttarakhand counterpart,Vijay Bahuguna,seeking his personal intervention in initiating prompt police and legal action against the guilty.
The Punjab Police,meanwhile,has identified two of the attackers. While the person who videographed the attack has been identified as Baljinder Singh Kanakwalia (Kanakwal village in Bathinda),Baljinder Singh had uploaded the video on Facebook,which was later uploaded on YouTube.
Kanakwalia was with the crowd that had attacked Pannu and recorded the entire incident on his cellphone. He had started recording the incident much before the crowd attacked Pannu. This points to the possibility of the crowd having planned the attack. Towards the end of the seven-minute video,Kanawalia is heard saying tusi gaal kadi hai (you have abused) to Pannu almost as if he is creating evidence why these people attacked him, said a police officer investigating the case.
At the time of the attack,Pannu was with his team MD Punjab State Cooperative Banks Kamaljit Singh Sangha,Assistant Project Officer in DGSE office Amarjit Singh and Punjab Inspector Kulbhushan. When Pannu was attacked by a mob of 30 to 40 people,Kulbhushan rushed to the nearby ITBP patrol party seeking help. Kulbhushans PSO,wearing Punjab Police uniform,was seen fleeing the spot in Kanakwalias video. Besides these officials,Pannu was being assisted by an assistant manager of Joshimath gurdwara,a Punjab Police constable and an Army jawan.