The special CBI court on Thursday acquitted seven Punjab Police personnel,including Moga Senior Superintendent of Police Surjeet Singh Grewal,in the 23-year-old fake encounter case of Kulwinder Singh on account of benefit of doubt.
The others acquitted are head constable Nikka Ram he is currently a sub-inspector at the Sohana police station retired ASI Amarjit Singh,Sub-Inspector Birbal Dass,ASI Gurcharan Singh,ASI Chanan Singh and Constable Dayal Singh.
The prosecution had claimed that on July 22,1989,Kulwinder Singh alias Kid was allegedly abducted along with another person from Mohali Phase 5 by Grewal who at that time was the in-charge of CIA staff in Patiala and six others. Later,he was reportedly killed in a fake encounter on Tangori Kurda Road,Sohana.
Kulwinder,a Class X student of DAV School in Sector 8,was arrested in 1986 for having relations with a student political party with alleged extremist links. After spending two years in jail,he was released in 1988. He got married the next year and was staying away from his family to avoid harassment of his parents at the hands of the police,the prosecution had claimed.
According to the defence counsel,complainant Tarlochan Singh Kulwinders father had filed a Habeaus Corpus petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in September 1989,seeking directions for the Punjab government to produce Kulwinder in court. The counsel added that Tarlochan did not even get to see his sons body as the police had cremated him in a hurry. Till now,Kulwant is shown to be a Proclaimed Offender by the police.
The defense counsel further submitted that the prosecution had not been able to establish the identity of Kulwinder for the last 23 years. Even the statements of prosecution witnesses,including Tarlochan,his tenant Dhani Ram and Inderjit who were claimed to be eyewitnesses were contradictory. The defence also argued that there were no eyewitness on the day of the encounter,as alleged by the prosecution. Kulwinders friend Surjeet Singh,who deposed as a defence witness in the court,had said that on the day of the alleged encounter,Kid had come to meet him at his house.
Following the court order,SSP Grewal said,I had full faith in God and the judiciary. I have been granted justice after 23 years,as the case registered against me was fake.
On the other hand,speaking to the media outside the court complex,Tarlocahan Singh said: I had waited 23 years for justice for my son,but still I have not got justice.