July 18, 2021 2:49:58 am
Three Amritsar city police officials have been booked for encounter killing of an alleged carjacker outside their jurisdiction.
Hoshiarpur resident and taxi driver, Inderjit Singh, was shot at by Amritsar city police at Jandiala Guru toll plaza on Amritsar-Jalandhar highway, inside the jurisdiction of Amritsar rural police on December 8 last year. He later died at Guru Nanak Dev hospital, Amritsar.
Now, three ASIs Vinod Kumar, Darshan Singh, Surinder Kumar have been booked under IPC Sections 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) only after family of victim reached Punjab and Haryana High court.
Police didn’t register an FIR after the alleged murder of Inderjit and required probe was also not completed within 90 days of incident after which family approached Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The HC not only asked police to register the FIR, but also questioned delay in filing it. The case was registered on Friday.
“Accused had encounter with police at toll plaza in which police party used excessive power to stop the car of Inderjit. He was shot at and later died,” reads the FIR, which was registered after probe by IGP, border zone.
Amritsar city police had claimed that Inderjit Singh was running away with a car snatched from Ambala.
Maninderpal Singh, brother of Inderjit Singh, claimed, “Vinod Kumar, Darshan Singh and Surinder Kumar murdered my brother and created a fake story. Local police was not informed and most of CCTV footage at Jandiala Guru toll palaza was deleted.”
Inderjit’s car was stopped at Jandiala Guru toll plaza on Amritsar-Jalandhar highway.
“There is CCTV footage in which it can be clearly seen that the car had stopped on the signal of policemen. This footage is with magistrate. That footage shows that car stopped and then policemen moved forward and broke the window. My brother was shot at but still walked and sat into police car. Police had claimed that they had fired shots at the tyres of car to stop it. But I have video of car after the incident in which all tyres are in good condition and there was no bullet sign on any tyre,” said Mahinderpal Singh.
Recording his statement with the SDM, Maninderpal Singh, who is a manager in a tractor manufacturing company, said that victim family was paid Rs 15 lakh as compensation at a meeting with police officials.
“They apologised and offered compensation. They also assured that it would not affect the action against police officials involved in encounter. Audio recording of the meeting is submitted as evidence. Wife and two children of my brother each were given Rs 5 lakh in compensation. Total 15 lakh was paid. We have deposited that amount in bank accounts of the (Inderjit’s) wife and children.”
Talking to The Indian Express, Maninderpal said, “Later we were asked not to pursue the case. We told police officials that they can take back their Rs 15 lakh compensation but we won’t withdraw case against accused, who killed our brother.’’
In the High Court, Judge Arun Monga observed: “My attention has particularly been drawn to the glaring facts and circumstances, narrated therein, which led to the alleged murder of the petitioner’s brother. Not only he died in suspicious circumstances, but he allegedly had as 14 injuries on his body, including two firearm shots. Such injuries would naturally lead to prima facie impression that it is not a case of natural death, but a murder. Yet, no FIR qua the same till date. Be that as it may, being an unnatural death, whether or not a murder or homicide, it was/is the duty of the state/police officials to have registered an FIR on being approached and apprised the facts by the petitioner. Truth would emerge only after an investigation into the allegations is made.”
He further said, “Having not done so, appears to be serious dereliction in duty and smacks of some personal agenda on the part of the police officials. There seems to be much more than meets the eye. However, at this stage, this court would refrain to make any further comments and seek an action taken report, before proceeding further.”
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