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Nakodar police firing: Kin writes to Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann to constitute SIT to probe missing part in probe report

Justice Gurnam Singh Commission submitted its report in 1986 which mentioned that the police action was unjustified and unnecessary.

The letter mentioned that the previous government had told the then Leader of Opposition that second part of the inquiry report was missing from the records of Vidhan Sabha. (File)

The father of one of the four Sikh men, killed in the 1986 police firing at Punjab’s Nakodar, wrote to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Monday to form a special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the disappearance of the second part of the judicial inquiry report.

In the letter, Baldev Singh, father of Ravinder Singh, requested the government to consider the request in the special Vidhan Sabha session which began Tuesday. The Assembly session will end on October 3. He said that they have been waiting for justice for the past 36 years.

In 1986, a contingent of Sikhs was on its way to recover the burnt ‘birs’ for dignified disposal of them when the police opened indiscriminate fire on the crowd killing Ravinder Singh of Littran, Baldhir Singh of Ramgarh, Jhilman Singh of Gorsian, and Harminder Singh of Chlupur. The police had even cremated the bodies after declaring them unidentified despite their parents’ plea to hand over the bodies of their sons.

The Justice Gurnam Singh Commission submitted its report in 1986 which mentioned that the police action was unjustified and unnecessary.

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The families had also moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking the formation of the SIT to investigate the missing part B of the inquiry report, which carried the statements of the witnesses and other evidence. The court issued a ‘Notice of the Motion’ to the Punjab government and others recently seeking a reply on the matter.

Baldev Singh said that the judicial inquiry report was submitted to the Punjab Government on October 31, 1986, when Surjit Singh Barnala of the Akali Dal was the Punjab chief minister. “In contravention of the rule of law and established procedure under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, the government failed to place and discuss the report, along with the mandatory Action Taken Report (ATR), in the state Assembly within six months of submission,” he said in the letter.

During the discussion in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on August 28, 2018, on the incidents of desecration of the ‘Sri Guru Granth Sahib’ and the 2015 police firing at Behbal Kalan, AAP MLAs Harvinder Singh Phoolka and Kanwar Sandhu highlighted Justice Gurnam Singh’s inquiry report and the Nakodar killings.

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“The then Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema (now Finance Minister) advocated for us and demanded from the previous government to follow the rule of law by laying the full report of the Justice Gurnam Singh Commission of Inquiry in the state Assembly and discuss it along with the mandated ATR. They also asked the previous government to disclose the full report, constitute an SIT, implement the findings of the judicial inquiry, and render an apology to the victims’ families for delaying/denying justice,” reads the letter.

Baldev Singh mentioned in his letter that the previous government had told the then Leader of Opposition that the second part of the inquiry report was missing from the records of Vidhan Sabha.

Baldev Singh said in the letter that “Throughout the previous government’s tenure, Mr Sandhwan and Mr Cheema consistently raised and tracked the issue as AAP was the only party vocal on the issue during the House term. We sincerely hope that now the government will form the SIT to investigate the disappearance of Part II of the 1986 Justice Gurnam Singh Commission of Inquiry Report and order the SIT formation in today’s Vidhan Sabha session”.

First published on: 27-09-2022 at 11:45:27 am
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