Kotkapura ex-SHO arrested in 2015 police firing case

The police firing incident had taken place in the aftermath of a sacrilege incident at a gurdwara at Bargari village

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Faridkot, June 25: Probing the police firing of Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in which two protesters were killed and many others injured on October 14, 2015, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Punjab Police on Thursday arrested Gurdeep Singh Pander, the then Kotkapura SHO.

The police firing incident had taken place in the aftermath of a sacrilege incident at a gurdwara at Bargari village.

The police had allegedly opened firing on the protesters at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan village.

Pander has been arrested for the offence of breach of trust and forgery. Sources in the SIT said Pander who had access to vital evidence relating to the firing incidents, had allegedly tampered with these evidences. So, the SIT has charged him with the offence of tampering with evidence, breach of trust and forgery.

Last week, the SIT had arrested Sohail Singh Brar, son of a late Akali leader, and Pankaj Bansal, owner of a car agency, for their allegedly helping the cops in fabricating the bullet marks on the escort Gypsy of former Moga SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma to create a false defence theory in the Behbal Kalan police firing case.

The SIT has already filed a 2,000-page chargesheet against a former Akali MLA and five police officers, including an IG, in the case. In a case under Sections 307 (attempt of murder), 323 (causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the IPC and the Arms Act registered in Kotkapura, the chargesheeted accused are former Akali MLA Mantar Singh Brar, IG Paramraj Umranangal, former SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma, ADCP Paramjit Singh Pannu, DSP Baljit Singh and SHO Gurdeep Singh Pander.

The chargesheet has been filed in the court of judicial magistrate here. The SIT claimed in the chargesheet that besides these accused, its investigation against former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal, former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, former DIG Amar Singh Chahal and others is still under way. A supplementary chargesheet against the other accused will be submitted in the court after completion of the investigation, reads the chargesheet.  

Enclosing with the chargesheet the digital evidence and mobile phone call details of the accused, the SIT claimed that to execute its plan of using the force to disperse the protesters, Umranangal had called his subordinate from Ludhiana, ADCP Paramjit Singh Pannu and Moga SSP Charanjit Singh at Kotkapura. A teargas squad from Ludhiana had also reached Kotkapura and weapons to be used on the protesters were kept in hiding by the police, alleged the chargesheet. Umranangal was the Ludhiana IG at that time. All these accused are on bail in the case.

Pander was arrested on Thursday after addition of the forgery and breach of trust allegations against him in the FIR.