Bhupinder Singh, the father of slain gangster Jaipal Singh Bhullar, on Sunday, alleged that his son was tortured and murdered by the Punjab Police and refused to cremate the body until a second autopsy was conducted.
Jaipal, along with an aide Jaspreet Singh alias Jassi, were gunned down in a shootout with the West Bengal Special Task Force (STF) in New Town, near Kolkata, on Wednesday afternoon (June 9). An STF official was injured in the encounter. Jaipal Singh Bhullar and Jaspreet Singh — both wanted in several cases of murder and extortion, as well as drug smuggling — had rented a flat in Sukhabristi Apartment in New Town, officials said.
On Sunday, while submitting a written plea to deputy commissioner Ferozepur demanding that Jaipal’s autopsy be conducted again, Bhupinder — a retired inspector of the Punjab Police — said that his son could ‘do a crime, but not drugs’.
Bhupinder claimed that his son has been brutally ‘tortured, thrashed and then murdered’ by the Punjab Police, and demanded that a probe be conducted into the ‘encounter’ and an FIR be lodged against the personnel involved in it.
Gurpal Singh Chahal, deputy commissioner Ferozepur, said that he had received Jaipal’s father’s application and the autopsy report has been sought from Punjab Police. “We have asked Punjab Police to provide us with the autopsy report, which was done in West Bengal. There is no provision for second autopsy..”
Bhupinder, a resident of Dashmesh Nagar in Ferozepur city, while speaking to The Indian Express, said, “It was not an encounter… it was a ruthless murder. Saada jawaan putt marr ditta (Our young son has been murdered). There are multiple injuries on his body, multiple fractures… his arm and other body parts are broken. He was badly tortured, thrashed, and then shot dead by the cops.”
“The body is now lying here with us in Ferozepur and we are not going to cremate it, till our plea for conducting a second autopsy is accepted. Even after killing our son, the police are not leaving us alone to mourn. A police team has been deployed in our house and they are trying to hush up the cremation. But we are not going to bow down to their pressure. My son’s arm and other body parts have grievous injury marks… there are clear signs of torture. Some cops in West Bengal have told us that they did not shoot my son, but personnel from Punjab Police pulled the trigger,” said Bhupinder.
A relative, who had accompanied Jaipal’s father to Kolkata to claim the body, said that they were harassed by the police and were not even allowed to have food. “Now that they have killed our son, they are not letting us mourn peacefully. Today, before cremating the body we found multiple fractures on his arms, shoulders, ribs. How can shooting cause fractures? They did not let us see the body in Kolkata. They did not even let his father go near it saying a chemical had been applied to it. On Sunday, Jaipal’s brother Amritpal (also arrested in multiple cases) was brought home to attend the last rites in police custody but was not allowed to meet his grieving mother. Instead of arresting and punishing, the police are killing the youths of Punjab in fake encounters. We have sent videos of Jaipal’s injuries to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court and intend on filing a case soon.”
Amit Prasad, ADGP, counter-intelligence and Organized Crime Control Unit (OCCU), Punjab Police said, “We had shared only inputs and details of their whereabouts with West Bengal Police. A team had left from Punjab, but before they could reach, the Kolkata STF team had conducted the raid. They wanted to arrest them but the duo opened fire. The police team fired back in retaliation and killed them. Punjab Police wasn’t a part of the raiding team. The autopsies were also conducted in Kolkata only.”
The father said that those who knew Jaipal closely, also know about his hatred for drugs. “My son can do anything. any crime. But he will never do drugs. He never sold or consumed drugs. Punjab Police is now saying that he was a wanted drug smuggler… Those who knew Jaipal know how much he was against drugs.”
A statement released by Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta earlier in the week had said that both Jaipal Bhullar and Jaspreet Singh were ‘gangsters-turned-drug smugglers’ and were ‘neutralized by STF West Bengal Police after they fired on STF police party when they raided the apartment’ on June 9. The DGP’s statement added that ‘neutralization of Jaipal and his associate..is a big blow to the heroin smuggling network, operating from across the border.’
Jaipal was a national-level hammer thrower, who later turned towards the world of crime. He along with Jaspreet and two others — Baljinder Singh and Darshan Singh (both arrested from Gwalior of Madhya Pradesh) — were accused of allegedly shooting dead two assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) — Dalwinderjit Singh and Bhagwan Singh — of Ludhiana rural police on May 15 at the Jagraon grain market. A reward of Rs 10 lakh was announced by Punjab Police for information leading to the arrest of Jaipal after the Jagraon incident.