Updated: November 8, 2021 10:49:06 am
Amid an uproar over the reinstatement of Bikramjit Singh, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa said orders to bring back the suspended superintendent of police (SP) — who is an accused in the Behbal Kalan police firing case — were given by former CM Capt Amarinder Singh.
News of the state government posting Bikramjit as SP (Technical Supports Services, Punjab) at police headquarters on Saturday had become a flashpoint amid the ongoing political slugfest in Punjab Congress over alleged inaction in sacrilege incidents and subsequent police firing on protesters in 2015.
Amarinder Singh had cleared the file to reinstate Bikramjit on July 19 — when he was still CM — even as then additional chief secretary (home) Anurag Aggarwal had a week before that noted that charges against the officer in the chargesheet issued to him “stood proved” and he should be given “due punishment”.
Randhawa, who now holds the home portfolio, said in a written statement on Sunday: “The ex-chief minister, who also held the home portfolio, had ordered the reinstatement of the concerned police officer while withholding just one increment despite the then additional chief secretary (home) not writing in favour of the officer.” Randhawa further stated that “the additional chief secretary (home) in a note sent to the chief minister on July 13 had written that during the investigation, the officer was unable to produce any concrete evidence nor could he present any new fact proving his innocence. After that, the then chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh ordered the reinstatement of Bikramjit Singh by just withholding a single increment”.
Bikramjit Singh was reinstated in the first week of August 5 after the then CM’s orders (copy with The Indian Express), which read: “After careful consideration of facts as available on record, it is decided to impose a punishment to stop one increment of pay with cumulative effect. Further, the officer may be reinstated treating his period of suspension as leave of the kind due. ACS (home) may pass orders accordingly.”
Bikramjit was among four police officials named as accused in the October 14, 2015, Behbal Kalan police firing, in which two anti-sacrilege protesters were killed. He was named as an accused in 2018 alongwith then Moga SSP Charanjit Sharma (now retired), then Inspector Pardip Singh and then Sub-Inspector Amarjit Singh in connection with an FIR lodged on October 21, 2015, against unidentified cops on charges which included murder and attempt to murder.
While Bikramjit when contacted over phone on Saturday had claimed that he was “reinstated around 15 days ago”, a senior government functionary had told The Indian Express that the former was reinstated in July “following recommendation by then additional chief secretary (home) and then DGP”.
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