Updated: May 20, 2022 2:38:07 am
Minutes after the Supreme Court convicted former Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Navjot Singh Sidhu to one-year rigorous imprisonment for the death of a 65-year-old man in 1988 in a road rage incident, the deceased’s family said “justice was finally meted” to them.
Talking to The Indian Express over the phone, Narvedinder Singh Suyach, son of Gurnam Singh, who lost his life in the incident involving Sidhu, said, “We are grateful to God. It is after 34 years that our family has got justice. We are going to a gurdwara to thank the almighty.”
Narvedinder, who is the only surviving son of the deceased, said, “Everybody has seen how we have fought for justice. We lost our father but justice was denied to us. Finally, it has been delivered.”
Residents of Ghalori village near Patiala, the Suyachs, known as Ghalori wale Sardar (since they own huge chunks of land), usually avoided the media. On Thursday, however, they were forthcoming. Earlier, when Sidhu was acquitted, Aman Singh Suyach, Gurnam Singh’s grandson, had said that they were bitter at the delivery of justice. “My grandfather was killed by Sidhu. And he was just fined Rs 1,000? Is it justice? We have now sought a review of the quantum of punishment. We hope we will get justice for my grandfather. Fine is not enough. The Suyach family wants Sidhu to be jailed. We have prayed for a maximum punishment. Afterall, he killed a man. What do you think, how much punishment should be given to anyone for killing a man?”
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The Suyachs had said that Narvedinder Singh had struggled for over three decades to get justice for his deceased father. Yet, Sidhu was always let off. After all, they had lost a family member and they had vowed to keep their fight on.
Sidhu’s case had moved from the local court to the high court and finally the Supreme Court. In 2018, the apex court had also given him relief, convicted him for voluntarily causing hurt but acquitted him for culpable homicide. The court had imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 only. Sidhu’s childhood friend Rupinder Singh Sandhu alias Bunny was also acquitted.
Incidentally, the Suyach family is related to former Congress minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar. When Sidhu joined Congress ahead of the 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls, the central leadership of Congress had asked Kangar to influence the family but there was no success. Sidhu was finally convicted.
Another Congress leader, Lal Singh, too is believed to have influence on the Suyachs as they have been his supporters. But none of these leaders could prevail upon the family that had been knocking several doors.
Rupinder Sandhu alias Bunny
Sidhu’s aide Rupinder Sandhu alias Bunny was also accompanying Sidhu when the road rage incident took place in Patiala on December 27, 1988. Both had allegedly hit Gurnam Singh, who later died. A childhood friend, Bunny has supported Sidhu in all his endeavours in the past. He would always be seen with Sidhu even when the latter was inducted by former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in his cabinet as the Local Bodies Minister. However, later, when Sidhu emerged from his self-exile of two years and was named the PPCC chief, Bunny went missing from the scene.
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