Hoshiarpur (Adesh) The family of Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s relative today resented over the decision of covertly pardoning a retired Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, Punjab, who alongwith two other cops was convicted for abducting and eliminating Kuljit Singh Dhatt in the year 1989.
Deceased Kuljit Singh Dhatt’s brother Harbhajan Singh Dhatt is the son-in-law of Parkash Kaur, the younger sister of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, alongwith his sister-in-law Gurjeet Kaur told media persons here today that they were stunned over the decision of covertly pardoning a retired DIG, Police, Punjab, S P S Basra.
Deceased Kuljit Singh Dhatt’s wife GurJeet Kaur, resident of village Ambala Jattan, had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for enhancement of punishment against the order of the court of Additional Sessions Judge, Hoshiarpur, which convicted S P S Basra and two cops Jaspal Singh and Sita Ram in FIR No. 81 of May 5, 1996. Two accused, Sardul Singh and AS Sandhu had died during the trial.
The court sentenced the accused to five-year rigorous imprisonment under Section 364 of the IPC, besides imposing a fine of Rs 1 lakh each and in default of payment of fine they would have to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a further period of six months. They were also awarded rigorous five-year term under section 120-B of the IPC alongwith a fine of Rs 10,000 each and in default of payment of fine they would have to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a further period of six months. They were further awarded rigorous two-year term and a fine of Rs 2,000 each under Section 218 of the IPC and in default of payment of fine they would have to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a further period of two months. All the sentences were ordered to run concurrently.
Their family had fought a long battle of about 25-years to get the decision of Hoshiarpur court which only punished them a meager imprisonment of five-years. They had appealed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2014 against the order of the Hoshiarpur court for the enhancement of punishment to the guilty.
Expressing shock over pardoning S P S Basra, Gurmeet Kaur and Harbhajan Singh said that they were waiting for the decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that would come in their favour and the guilty persons would be severely punished. But the new development of pardoning S P S Basra had shaken them.
How could the government take a decision of pardoning S P S Basra when their petition for enhancement of punishment is pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, they questioned.
They became aware about the governor’s pardon order of S P S Basra when the news item relating to this was recently published in a section of the press. No one had asked them before providing pardon to S P S Basra.
Harbhajan Singh claimed that the order of pardoning was covertly issued in the month of July 2021when Capt. Amrinder Singh was the Chief Minister of Punjab.
Though, they had not received any invitation to participate in the oath taking ceremony of Bhagwant Singh Mann as Chief Minister of Punjab, but they had decided to go to Khatar Kalan tomorrow to meet Mr. Mann and urged him to intervene in the matter and to get cancelled the decision of pardoning S P S Basra.
They would further appeal to him to take strict action against the officials and politicians who helped in providing pardon to S P S Basra and order an inquiry against them.
The copy of the pardon order issued by D. K. Tiwari, Principal Secretary to Government of Punjab, Department of Jails was also provided to the media men by Mr. Harbhajan Singh Dhatt.
It may be recalled that Kuljit Singh Dhatt was abducted by the police from Ambala Jattan village on July 23, 1989, along with five others. While others were released, there was no news about Kuljit Singh Dhatt.
After Kuljit Singh Dhatt’s abduction, people held protests seeking his release. Two days later, the police registered an FIR at the Tanda police station stating that Kuljit was arrested at a checkpoint on the intervening night of July 25 and 26 in 1989.
It was stated in the FIR that he had confessed to having hidden a load of weapons and ammunition on the banks of the Beas. When the police took him to the spot for the recovery of weapons, he broke the chain and jumped into the river. Later on, another FIR was lodged in which it was recorded that Kuljit was seen during a firing incident in an area under the Tanda police station.
Parkash Kaur and deceased Kuljit Singh Dhatt’s wife moved the Supreme Court, which constituted an inquiry commission headed by retired Sessions judge HL Randev in September 1990 which in their report submitted in 1993 indicted five policemen-then SP (operations) SPS Basra, Dasuya DSP AS Sandhu, Dasuya SHO Jaspal Singh, Tanda SHO Sardul Singh and Garhdiwala chowki in charge Sita Ram-for abducting and eliminating Dhatt.
The SC later ordered registration of a case against the accused policemen. They were booked for criminal conspiracy, abduction and illegal confinement. Parkash Kaur again moved the Supreme Court and after it’s rap, the FIR was amended and Sections 364 (abduction with the motive of murder), 365, 466, 218, 201 and 120-B of the IPC were added.
Later, the case was decided by the court of Additional Sessions Judge here on May 9, 2014.
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