No anticipatory bail to SP in Kotkapura firing case - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Friday, June 14, 2019

No anticipatory bail to SP in Kotkapura firing case


No anticipatory bail to SP in Kotkapura firing case

Balwant Garg
Tribune News Service
Faridkot, June 13

The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Faridkot, on Thursday dismissed the anticipatory bail application of Superintendent of Police (SP) Baljit Singh in the Kotkapura police firing case of October 2015.

He is one of six prime accused nominated by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in its probe into the firing incident.

Currently posted as SP (D) in Ferozepur, Baljit Singh was Kotkapura DSP at the time of police firing on the protesters.

Saying there was prima facie sufficient evidence against him for his failing in handling the situation arising out of the ongoing dharna to protest sacrilege incidents at Kotkapura and fabricating evidence, the court said he could influence witnesses in the case if allowed anticipatory bail.

Dismissing the bail application, the court observed that as per the SIT report, SP Baljit Singh had made an attempt to destroy 11 pieces of evidence and manipulated and fabricated the relevant facts of the case and had not taken any action on the Medico Legal Reports (MLR) of the persons injured in the police firing.

Offering to join the SIT’s probe in the case, Baljit Singh claimed that his role in the incident was not same as that of then SHO Gurdeep Singh Pander, whose anticipatory bail was also dismissed by the court on June 6.

Opposing the bail to the SP, the prosecution on behalf of the SIT argued that Baljit Singh and the SHO were the jurisdictional officers, under whose jurisdictional area the incident of firing took place. Besides destroying the material evidence, Baljit Singh was part of a conspiracy to concoct a self-made story of self-defence and preparing the documentary evidence to show that the police officials had fired from their weapons in self-defence, whereas the names of the police officials mentioned by them have got recorded their statements that they did not fire any shot during the occurrence, claimed the prosecution.

The SIT has found that Harjit Singh Sandhu, the then duty magistrate, gave three orders to use mild force on the people sitting on dharna to disperse them on the application by the police. In these orders, sent to Baljit Singh and SHO, the first order was to use water cannon and tear gas. The second order was to use mild lathicharge with caution to restrain to minimum use of force. The third order was to fire in air with specific directions not to fire directly on anybody. But, the mandatory procedure regarding dispersal of assembly by use of civil force was not followed by them and shots were fired on the protesters, observed the court, denying relief to Baljit Singh.

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