Ludhiana (February 22, 2010): Yesterday the Punjab Police arrested two so-called ‘Khalistan Liberation Force Militants’ for planting a bomb near Indian Oil Gas Plant at Nabha. The police claimed to have arrested them on intervening night of 20 and 21 February, 2010 when they were going to plant new bombs to spread terror. Police says that it has recovered explosives and arms from the possession of accused persons.
“Public servants act in bona-fide and their statements should not be questioned normally” is legalistic opinion prevailing in India. But a question is natural to arise that when there is a reasonable ground to question the “bona-fide” claims of Police, then what course should be adopted?
A housewife, Karamjeet Kaur, and a handicap person Balbir Singh, both from Manki Village of Sangrur District, along with a member of the village Panchayat came to Patiala on February 18, 2010 to tell the reporters and the media that two of their family members were picked up by the police on February 13, 2010 and are in illegal detention of the Punjab police.
Village Panchayat Member Harjinder Singh affirmed on oath that Jasbir Singh Jassa, husband of Karamjeet Kaur, and his younger brother Darshan Singh were picked up by a police party on February 13, 2010 headed by some Gurmail Singh, and they were, as told by Gurmail Singh, picked up at the directions of Pritpal Singh Virk, AIG Counter Intelligence, Patiala. A hand written slip given by Gurmail Singh to the Panchayat Member carried the mobile number of Virk and Gurmail himself.
But the AIG, Virk and Patiala SSP, Ranbir Singh Khatra, denied the arrest and detention of Jasbir and Darshan. However Khatra informed media that duo are wanted in many cases and “the police will arrest them soon.”
Karamjeet Kaur even informed Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court through telegram and requested his intervention in the matter.
Is it a sufficient reason to question the bona-fide of Police claims? If it is, then one must raise the logical questions that if Jasbir Singh Jassa was in police custody since February 13, 2010 then how he can be arrested by a special team of Punjab Police from Nabha and that too with explosives and arms on intervening night of February 20 and 21, 2010.
Similar seems the position regarding claims of Punjab Police regarding Bakhsish Singh, who is believed to be a member or head of some militant organization. Bakhsish is named as main accused and master mind of bomb attack on Dera Sauda Sirsa head Gurmeet Ram Raheem and is linked with the Sikh Militant movement that lasted till early ninetieths of twentieth century.
It is interesting to note that soon after the claims of Karamjeet Kaur regarding illegal detention of Jasbir Singh Jassa and Darshan Singh police started claiming that they are about to bust a network of active “terrorists” in Punjab.
In Press Conference of February 21, 2010; the DIG Patiala range has informed media that Bakhshish who was believed to have fled to Pakistan has returned to India and police is doing its best to trace and arrest him.
BUT two days before these claims are made by the Police, a daily Punjabi news paper “Rozana Spokesman” had reported from Raikot that “Police has claimed to solve the cases of un-blasted bombs found at Air Base, Halwara and Indian Oil Gas plant, Nabha. Police has arrested Bakhshish Singh of Patiala, along with 12 others with 15 Kg RDX, an A.K 47 and more arms.”
“Police’s claims regarding arrested Bakhsish Singh is, that, he is heading Khalistan Commando Force and was attempting to revive militancy in Punjab since a long time.” says the report published on the name of reporter Krishan Gopal on Front Page of “Rozana Spokesman” dated: February 19, 2010.
What these persons had did, if they had done that at all, was wrongful/offensive or not, is for the Court of Law to decide, and it would be too early to say something in this regard. But a question is natural to arise here that; who is going to decide the role of police in keeping accused person in illegal custody, if at all any one of them is so kept, and thereby actively denying to follow the due procedure of Law.
The practice shows that when police denies its’ success in trapping the accused persons for some time, more arrests follow. So the possibility of Bakhshish Singh being arrested by the police can not be denied and even more persons may also be arrested in days to come.
www.sikhsiyasat.net, Gurbhej Singh, 22 feb 2010