“For the sake of promotion and prize money, the Mohali police has killed our son in a fake encounter. He was made a scapegoat,” alleged Yonus Masih, uncle of Samuel Masih alias Sunny, 25, who was killed in an encounter by Mohali police at Bilaspur on Saturday. The operation was conducted by Mohali DSP Ramandeep Singh and Inspector Tarlochan Singh around 3 am at Bilaspur near Naina Devi Temple. The two police officers were following the accused of car jacking from Mohali.
As per the police, five men had allegedly snatched a Hyundai Verna at gunpoint from Sante Majra village in Sector 91 of Mohali district around 11 pm on Friday. While three men escaped in the snatched Verna, their two accomplices sped off in a Maruti Ritz. Chasing the accused car snatchers, the police officers then traced the accused to Bilaspur, wherein an exchange of fire Sunny was shot dead while Goldy Masih and Amanpreet Singh were arrested.
While the police claim Sunny had a criminal background and they fired in retaliation, the family doubts the police theory and calls it completely fake. Speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, Yonus Masih, uncle of Sunny, said, “We don’t understand why a DSP and SHO would go to trace a car which has been snatched in the city late at night. They go 100 kilometres from Mohali just to get the car without any other police staff.”
“On July 11, Sunny went from home telling his parents that he was going to Chandigarh for a job interview at toll plaza and will return after three days. He also took some money from his mother, but then we heard about his encounter on July 14. Sunny has never been summoned by the police. He did not have any criminal record. He passed his Class 10 from ICSE board from Little Flower Convent school at Kalanaur, Gurdaspur, in the first division. Then he passed his Class 12 from Government School, Kalanaur,” added Yonus.
Sunny is survived by father Sucha Masih, who is a labourer, mother Dimple Masih and younger brother Stephen Masih, who has just passed his Class 12. “On Saturday, Sucha Masih was called by the local police at Kalanaur, where around 12 noon, he was told that his son, who was involved in car jacking, had been killed in an encounter. Today after facing a lot of harassment, we received Sunny’s body after the post-mortem. We have also given a written complaint to the Bilaspur SDM saying that it was a fake encounter. The policemen shot him just to get reward,” said Sunny’s uncle.
“We are taking the body to our native village, Dhidowal. After performing the last rites, we will approach senior police officers and move the court if need be,” added Yonus. However, responding to the family allegation, Mohali SSP Kuldeep Singh Chahal said, “The claim of the accused family that it was a fake encounter will be proved in the court. The accused had a criminal background. We have a list of cases registered against him in different areas. Five days ago, a Himachal Police team also raided his house in Gurdaspur. Our officials have performed their duty as per law.”