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. 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. 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.