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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

On EC orders, IG probing police firing cases shifted


On EC orders, IG probing police firing cases shifted

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8

The Election Commission of India (ECI) today asked Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh to relieve Inspector General of Police Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh as member of the SIT probing the October 2015 police firing incidents of Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura.

Later in the evening, the officer was transferred as IGP (Counter Intelligence), Amritsar, against a vacant post, as a compliance report had to be sent to the ECI by the state government today itself. The ECI order had specified that the officer should not be given any post related to the conduct of elections.

Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh was posted as IGP (Crime) with additional charge of Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU), besides being a member of the SIT.

The ECI had issued orders after Akali Dal Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujral filed a complaint against the IPS officer on March 22. The officer had allegedly given a “politically motivated” statement to a television channel on March 18 and 19, regarding the investigation in the police firing incidents being probed by the SIT.

“The officer gave a politically motivated interview…It has been observed that the contents of the interview have political connotations and have the potential to show certain political leaders in poor light,” says the letter sent by Secretary, ECI, to Punjab Chief Secretary, directing the latter to initiate action against the officer for lapse.

In his interview, the officer had reportedly mentioned the names of senior SAD leaders, which the ECI observed, was in clear violation of the provisions of the code of conduct. The letter issued by the ECI said all members of the SIT should be directed not to air any such contents in future till the poll code is in force, which will affect the fairness of the conduct of the poll process.

Following the EC order, Gujral told The Tribune that the police officer was behaving in a “partisan” manner and criticising senior SAD leaders in the interview. “I thank the ECI for timely action, which will ensure that other officers would desist from acting in a partisan manner and people of Punjab would be able to cast their vote without any prejudice or fear,” he said.

Cong misusing SIT: Sukhbir

Jalandhar: SAD chief Sukhbir Badal has claimed that the probe of his government at the time of the incident in 2015 was going on the right track. “The Congress is planning to lodge false FIRs against Akalis. They are frustrated and are using the SIT against us,” he alleged during a rally at Nurmahal. TNS

Grave blunder, says Randhawa

Chandigarh: Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has termed as a “grave blunder” the transfer of Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. He has appealed to the ECI for reconsidering the decision. He said the move would discourage the officers probing cases as sensitive as the sacrilege and the people of Punjab would lose faith in the constitutional institutions. He alleged that the Akalis were lodging false complaints to escape punishment for their heinous deeds. TNS

Victim’s kin back officer

Faridkot: Coming in the support of IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh, the family members of Behbal Kalan firing victim has appealed to the state government and the Election Commission not to get carried away by SAD’s propaganda against him. Sukhraj Singh, son of Krishan Bhagwan Singh who was killed in the firing, alleged that the SAD was trying to derail the investigation. He questioned the probe initiated by the Akalis during their tenure. He said the youth were thrashed and falsely implicated by the SIT formed by them. TNS

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