Former Punjab Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini wants the Special Investigation Team probing Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing incidents to question him at his residence in Chandigarh.
The SIT had issued a notice to Saini under section 160 of Crimimal Procedure Code asking him to appear before it at GO Mess of 82 Battalion of Punjab Armed Police at Chandigarh on February 25.
Sources, privy to the development, told The Indian Express that after the notice was served to Saini, he wrote to the SIT that “procedural provisions of law are required to be followed”.
They said, according to Saini, the notice dated February 20 was served to him on February 21.
The Indian Express has reliably learnt that Saini had been summoned in connection with FIR number 129 and 130 registered at police station Bajakhana in Faridkot district and that he was not a resident of any place falling under Bajakhana or any adjoining police station as mandated in the section 160 CrPC.
Saini, it was learnt, has said in response to SIT notice, that he lives in house number 3048 in Sector 20-D. Sources close to Saini said that he has asked SIT to question him at his residence in Chandigarh.
Highly placed sources also told The Indian Express that Saini was also ready for questioning even before February 25. As per sources, Saini wrote to SIT saying “If you desire me to join investigation before January 25, intimate me on my mobile phone.”
On February 26, a day after Saini has been summoned, Punjab government is scheduled to file reply and status report on a petition moved by the former DGP in Punjab and Haryana High Court. During a hearing in the case, the High Court had in October last year directed that one week’s advance notice shall be given to Saini before his arrest in any case so as to enable him to have recourse to remedies available to him.
In his petition, besides seeking advance notice before arrest in any criminal matter, Saini had sought directions from the court to hand over investigation in any matter registered against him to Central Bureau of Investigation or to any other independent agency outside the State of Punjab.
Saini was Punjab DGP when Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan police firing incidents took place. Two anti-sacrilege protestors were killed in Behbal Kalan police firing incident. Saini was subsequently removed as DGP.
Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission report submitted to the government last year had put the role of Saini and some other police officers under scanner in the incidents where force was used against the protestors.
Special Investigation Team (SIT) has arrested then Moga SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma and then Ludhiana police commissioner IG Paramraj Singh Umranangal in connection with Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura incidents. Umranangal was arrested on February 18, following the interrogation of Charanjit Singh Sharma who was arrested on January 27.