Family members of the two protesters killed in October 2015 police firing in Behbal Kalan on Thursday met the Chief Electoral Officer Punjab, Dr S Karuna Raju as part of a delegation led by the Dal Khalsa. The victims’ kin handed over memorandum for the Chief Election Commissioner seeking reinstatement of Special Investigation Team member Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, who they called as “key investigator” of the five-member SIT.
Sukhrajkaran Singh and Mahinder Singh, the son and father, respectively, of deceased Krishan Bhagwan Singh and Sadhu Singh, the father of another deceased Gurjeet Singh were accompanied by Dal Khalsa leaders Harpal Singh Cheema, Kanwarpal Singh and human rights activist Jagmohan Singh as they submitted the memorandum.
Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh said Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh was the face of the SIT and he was the only officer people associated with the team. He added he was not casting any aspersions on the abilities of other members, but was just echoing the public perception.
“In case the ECI does not review its arbitrary and hasty decision, people will lose faith in the ECI and there will again be a possibility of uprising and protests among the population in Punjab,” Kanwarpal said.
He added that leaders of the United Akali Dal, SAD (Amritsar) led by Simranjit Singh Mann, Dal Khalsa and other Sikh outfits would protest outside the office of ECI Friday against the decision.
The Dal Khalsa spokesperson said that the poll panel had made the SIT “lifeless” and “put an end to that small ray of hope”.
“The decision of the Election Commission of India is not only a set back to the investigation, but also a big jolt for justice to our families who were expecting the SIT to indict those responsible for the extrajudicial murders and injuries to many. The Election Commission has overstepped its authority in this case as the concerned police officer was not on any election duty and what he said was only a brief update on the proceedings of the SIT. By no stretch of imagination did he violate the Model Code of Conduct of the ECI,” read the memorandum signed by the family members of the deceased persons.
“Wedemand that the EC must ask the Punjab government to reinstate Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh to his original position in the SIT and ensure that the work of investigation continues without any let up,” it added.
A delegation of SAD (Taksali) also met the CEO with a request to cancel the transfer order.