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Thursday, October 28, 2021

…But victim’s kin ask: ‘14 involved in fake encounter, none of them prosecuted, how is this justice?’

The court had charged SI Wassan Singh under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of IPC. Wassan Singh had died during the trial of the case.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
September 24, 2021 8:13:58 am
Kannagi's brother Maruthupandi was given the death sentence and others including her father were given life terms by the Cuddalore District Principal court. (File)

ON THURSDAY, former assistant sub-inspector Amrik Singh was sentenced to ten years in prison in a 29-year-old case of kidnapping and wrongful confinement. However, the family of the 19-year-old victim says justice has not been served and alleged that “many of the accused who killed Gurbinder Singh in a fake encounter were not even prosecuted”.

A special Central Bureau Court (CBI) court had on Wednesday held accused Amrik Singh guilty under sections 364 (kidnapping) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the IPC. It was observed by the court that ASI Amrik Singh, along with sub-inspector Wassan Singh, had on the evening of July 21, 1992, visited Pheruman village and wrongfully restrained Chanan Singh, till July 23, 1992.

The court had charged SI Wassan Singh under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of IPC. Wassan Singh had died during the trial of the case.

The court observed in the charges that on the intervening night of July 21/22, 1992, Amrik Singh visited Jalandhar and forcibly picked up Chanan Singh’s son Gurbinder Singh to be murdered/be disposed of, and Gurbinder Singh was killed in a stage-managed encounter on the intervening night of July 23/24, 1992, in Sathiala village, under Beas police station.

Human rights activist and lawyer Sarabjit Singh Verka said: “At least 14 persons were involved in the fake encounter. It is on record. But none of them is convicted. They were not even prosecuted. Amrik Singh was only involved in detaining Gurinder Singh and his father illegally. But his conviction has proved that the encounter was fake. Still CBI didn’t prosecute all the accused.”

Gurbinder’s brother Parminder Singh asked: “When 14 police officials who actually pumped bullets in my brother’s body were not prosecuted, how can we say that we got justice?”

He added, “Our mother had died long ago. My brother and sister were living with my uncle in Jalandhar. At that time, it was common for families in Majha to send their sons to their relatives outside Majha. Another reason for sending him to Jalandhar was that we wanted him to earn something.”

Parminder said that the police first picked up his father Chanan Singh. “He was beaten at the police station and asked the whereabouts of my brother. My brother was not wanted in any case. My father told the police this. Later police reached my uncle’s home from where my brother was picked up and later killed in cold blood.”

According to police, 109 bullets were fired at Gurbinder, two of which struck him in his vital organs.
“It is proved in court that he was illegally detained and wrongfully confined by police. Everything police said in its defence has been proven false in court. Still we will have to go to High Court to seek the action against those who were involved in the fake encounter,” said Parminder.

He added, “We fought in court for years. My father is already 85 years old. I don’t know if he can make it for another two decades to see them behind bars. SHO Wassan Singh, who was one of the two accused, died a natural death. He enjoyed all the perks of his service. It is not justice. We have just proved in court that my brother was innocent. But it doesn’t mean that we have got justice.”

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