A group of people who are also witnesses in the 2015 Behbal Kalan firing incident have urged the political parties, including ruling Congress in Punjab and the opposition Aam Aadmi Party and Shiromani Akali Dal, to stop doing politics over the death of Surjit Singh, also a key witness who died of heart attack at his house in Faridkot district last month.
In letters written to the political parties, they maintained that Surjit was not the sole witness in the case and in fact there were 23 such witnesses.
Angrej Singh, a witness in the case and who had also suffered injuries during the incident, said, “We lost two persons – Krishan Bhagwan Singh and Gurjit Singh – while I remained on bed for a long time. Since the incident of firing on October 14, 2015, we have suffered a lot. We have appeared before different commissions and investigating teams as witnesses a number of times. Now, we don’t want any politics on this issue by parties for their political gains”.
Hakam Singh Sekhon, an ex-serviceman and a resident of Behbal Kalan said, “Surjit was not the only witness, we are also witnesses in that case. Moreover, the power corporation raid took place at 9 houses included Surjit’s. I am surprised to read the statements of SAD leaders that he was under pressure for not giving his statement before SIT. We were never under any pressure. And why would pressure be put on only one witness and not on others?”
The eight witnesses who have signed the letter said SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal has repeatedly been saying that Surjit was the prime witness, even though there are 23 others as well. “Surjit passed away and are sad about it. But neither his family nor political parties should do any politics. This is an issue of Sikh religion as we were protesting against sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib,” they said.
Balkaran Singh, sarpanch of village Gursar said, “We appeared before Justice Jora Singh Commission, Justice Ranjit Singh Commission and the SIT. Surjit did not appear before the SIT. The controversy which has erupted after Surjit’s death is politically motivated.”
After Surjit’s death, his wife Jasvir Kaur and son Lakhwinder Singh had alleged that he was being harassed by power corporation employees. She had even given a complaint to police against the then power minister Gurpreet Kangar, Faridkot MLA Kushaldeep Dhillon, Congress’s local leader Manjinder Singh Bitta and few PSPCL employees. She had alleged that while PSPCL employees had harassed them, the Congress leaders did not help them out. Surjit was charged with power theft and was fined Rs 55,000. After that SAD had been demanding murder FIR against Congress MLAs while panthic organisations have also done two meetings at Surjit’s house demanding justice. Lok Insaaf party leader Simarjeet Singh Bains had also visited Surjit’s house.
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