An Amritsar court on Monday convicted retired Punjab Police DIG Kultar Singh, DSP Hardev Singh and four others in a 2004 family suicide case. All the accused were sent to Amritsar jail. The sentence will be pronounced on February 19.
In 2004, on intervening night of October 30 and 31, Hardeep Singh along with his mother, wife and two minor male children had committed suicide in Chowk Moni area of Amritsar and next morning Sumit Chawla, relative of deceased had over telephone informed Hardev Singh, the then SHO of Police Station C Division Amritsar and the first IO of the case, who now stands convicted. He is convicted for tempering with suicide notes to save then Amritsar SSP Kultar Singh, whose name was found on the suicide notes left by the deceased.
Before taking the extreme step, the entire family had written a suicide note on the walls of a room of their house. After the incident in 2004, police had forced open the door of the house in presence of large number of persons. Th body of Hardeep Singh was found lying in the balcony and body of his wife Romy was hanging from the fan. Bodies of his mother, Jaswant Kaur, and both sons — Sanmeet and Ismeet — were found in the rooms. There were number of writings on the walls of the rooms. Police party immediately pushed private persons out from the incident spot, allegedly shut the doors and remained inside the rooms for some time and later called senior officers to the spot. After senior officers arrived, again the door was opened and writings describing reasons for the suicides were noted down on papers.
In the suicide note, Hardeep had claimed that he had murdered his father, Sunder Singh, adding that while deposing the body he was seen by his relative, Sabreen, who informed this to her father-in-law, Mohinder Singh. He alleged that Mohinder started extorting money and later informed the police who also started blackmailing the family. There were also allegations of blackmailing against sister and brother-in-law of the deceased.
On October 31, 2004 Mohinder Singh, Sabreen, Parminder Kaur (sister of deceased) and brother-in-law Palwinderpal Singh were booked.
They were arrested on November 1 that year. Interestingly, despite the suicide note naming then Amritsar SSP Kultar Singh, he was not named in the FIR.
In 2009, Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) activist Sarabjit Singh Verka took up the matter before a local court and sought justice for the victims while alleging that the local police was not probing the case properly.
The charges were framed under Sections 306 (abetment to suicide), 388 (extortion) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC against Kultar Singh and four relatives of the deceased — Sabreen, Mohinder, Parminder Kaur and Palwinderpal Singh. Hardev Singh was charged under sections 465 (forgery), 471(using as genuine as forged document, 120(B) (conspiracy) , 210 (fraudulently obtaining decree for sum not due) and 217 (public servant who disobeys direction of law). All six accused were convicted under the charges framed against them.
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