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Convictions of 2 Punjab Police officers for 1993 kidnapping and abduction case

Convictions of 2 Punjab Police officers for 1993 kidnapping and abduction case

The CBI Special Court in Mohali today convicted Inspector Joginder Singh and sentenced to 6 years for section 365 abduction and kidnapping and 2 years under section 344 (wrongful confinement ) Constable Jagjit Singh to probation under section 212 for abduction and disappearance of Gurinder Singh 1993. Special Judge Nirbhow Singh Gill and others where earlier Balwinder Singh, had been abducted and disappeared by the same Inspector Joginder Singh in 2013 and had been convicted by the CBI special court in Patiala. The CBI investigation pertained to abduction and killing of Balwinder Singh and Gurinder Singh both son of Dharam Singh of Partap Nagar, Patiala by the accused police officers some 26 years ago. The CBI investigated the case and mentioned in the charge sheet that on 26 March 93, accused Joginder Singh, ASI Hazoor Singh and ASI Sham Lal raided the house of Dharam Singh and abducted his son Balwinder Singh, and took him to PS Division No. 4 Patiala. On 2nd April 1993, Inspector Joginder Singh again visited Dharam Singh’s house and demanded that his other son, Gurinder Singh also be produced in order to secure the release of his first son, Balwinder Singh who was already in police custody. On 3rd April, Gurinder Singh ( the victim in was produced before inspector Joginder Singh and was taken into custody, even though Dharam Singh had paid him Rs 10,000 in cash as well as provided a scooter for releasing Balwinder Singh. Convictions of 2 Punjab Police officers for 1993 kidnapping and abduction case Later on, the CBI alleged in its charge sheet, that Inspector Gurnam Singh implicated Balwinder Singh in a false case and arrested him (FIR 40 of 18.4.1993) under section 25 of the Arms Act at PS Civil Lines, Patiala. A false confessional statement was elicited from him by the then SP of Patiala City, Sham Lal Gakhar. The next day, Balwinder Singh was produced before LD. Court of SDJM Patiala which remanded him to police custody. On 20 April 93, Inspector Gurnam Singh implicated Dharam Singh’s other son, Gurnam Singh (already in custody), (via FIR No 42, dated 20.4.93) under sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act. A false recovery of 12 bore pistol along with two live cartridges was also attributed to him. Convictions of 2 Punjab Police officers for 1993 kidnapping and abduction case Two days later, on 22 April 93, Inspector Gurnam Singh recorded a false ‘disclosure statement’ from Gurinder Singh saying that he had indeed concealed one 12 Bore revolver with 11 Live cartridges and Rs 25,000 cash in a glazed paper near the wall of village Bootasinghwala. A day later, on 23 April 93,  Gurinder Singh was taken out of the lock up on the pretext of recovering the items that he allegedly confessed to in his posession in the false statement recorded a day before. On the intervening night of 22 and 23 April 1993, it was alleged by the police that Gurinder Singh escaped from police custody by breaking the belt of constable Harpal Singh. Gurinder Singh. Since then his whereabouts have been unknown. Dharam Singh’s other son, Balwinder Singh was disappeared in an eerily similar fashion. Balwinder Singh was allegedly shown to have escaped police custody under a criminal conspiracy hatched by the then ASI Gulzaar Singh, ASI Mukhtiar Singh and HC Sikandar Singh. It was concocted that while the trio was taking Balwinder Singh for an alleged recovery in a false case (FIR No 32/93, dated 5.5.92) under section 224 and 307 of the IPC of PS Bhawanigarh, Balwinder Singh escaped their custody. He was never seen again after the alleged escape.

Legal Journey of the Case

On 22 Nov 1993, a criminal writ petition (Habeas Corpus) No. 603 was filed before the Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana by Dharam Singh. After accepting the petition the HC directed the District & Sessions Judge of Sangrur to conduct an inquiry in Balwinder Singh and Gurinder Singh’s disappearances. After concluding the investigations the District & Sessions Judge of Sangrur wrote in his report, “Balwinder Singh and Gurinder Singh were once in the custody Inspector Gurnam Singh and they were involved in pseudo cases and have been eliminated by Insp. Gurnam Singh.” In April 2018 one of the accused Harpal Singh died. Currently, there are only two accused remaining who are facing trial – Inspector Joginder Singh, the then SHO PS Division 4, Patiala and Constable Jagjit Singh, PS Civil Lines, Patiala. On perusal of the facts and circumstances, it was clear that this was not a case of plain abduction and enforced disappearance. The prosecution case was based on common intention to abduct, illegally detain and allegedly shown the victims as escaped from the police custody with each accused played a different role in a criminal conspiracy with an intention to eliminate the victims. The court was requested to take into account the special circumstances that existed in this case – where the accused were police officers tasked with a duty to uphold and protect citizens but instead they concocted false stories of victims escaping from their custody and by preparing false memos to show their escape as genuine whilst legally in their protective care. The case had interlinking matters which prove that the accused committed the criminal conspiracy with the common intent to abduct, illegally detained, and disappear/eliminate. It was abundantly clear that there was clear and compelling evidence that the accused police officers had not only abducted nod disappeared the victims but had lied and mislead the family about their whereabouts since the past 26 years. The surviving family member Nirmal Kaur, sister in law of Gurinder Singh is shocked with the verdict and will appeal to the High Court for a life sentence and conviction for a life sentence. Get Breaking news and Latest News from India and around the world on GlobalPunjabTV.in. Like us on Facebook for news updates.

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