BALJINDER SINGH Sandhu, posted as DSP, Jaitu in Punjab’s Faridkot district, shot himself dead on Monday afternoon during a clash between two student unions at Punjabi University, Patiala’s regional centre located in the area. While Sandhu, who was in his late 40s, died in the incident, his gunman, Lal Singh, was seriously injured. Lal Singh was hit by the same bullet after it passed through the DSP’s body. He has now been admitted to the ICU at Faridkot Medical College.
The incident happened during a dharna by students against Jaitu SHO Gurjit Singh, whom they accused of beating up a few students after taking them to the police station.
While a protest was being staged by students from the Inqalabi Manch, some students led by another student leader Rahul reached the spot and allegedly clashed with the Manch protesters. As per a purported video of the incident, as the DSP tried to pacify both groups of student unions during the clash, he suddenly pulled out his service weapon and shot himself in the head. The same bullet then hit Lal Singh, and both then collapsed in a pool of blood at the spot inside the campus. Both victims were rushed to the hospital, while the protesting students dispersed immediately after the incident.
Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, IG Bathinda range, said,” The DSP shot himself dead, while students were raising allegations against the department. He was an honest and hard working officer and had worked hard in solving many cases in Jaitu in the recent past. We are in deep shock after this incident. He was perfectly fit and was not under any kind of medication.”
Dr Nanak Singh, SSP Faridkot, added: “We are lodging an FIR under Section 306 IPC (abetment to suicide) against the students sitting on dharna. They are being identified.”
According to sources, student union leaders were raising allegations against police for not acting against the SHO. Sources added that raids were being conducted to arrest the main union leaders behind this dharna.
In the video, one student, who is yet to be identified, was seen levelling allegations against police for not acting against SHO Gurjit Singh. Later, just before the DSP shot himself, the student leader in question was seen standing next to him, while the DSP tried to pacify him. Immediately after that, the DSP pulled out his gun and shot himself. The exact reason behind the police officer’s sudden reaction is not known.