Chandigarh: Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and DGP Dinkar Gupta have received strong condemnation for granting pardons to four policemen sentenced to life imprisonment by CBI court in Patiala for the abduction and killing of an innocent Sikh youngster.

Harjit Singh of Saharan Majra village in Ludhiana was abducted and killed in a fake encounter by the officers in 1993, consisting of three policemen from Uttar Pradesh and one from the Punjab Police. Their release from jail has been ordered by the Governor on the recommendations of Captain Amarinder Singh and DGP Dinka Gupta.

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal and Sukhpal Khaira President of Punjab Ekta Party in separate statements strongly condemned Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and DGP Dinkar Gupta describing their act as mockery of judicial system and murder of constitution.

Khaira stated that the Governor, CM and DGP had committed a serious crime against humanity and defeated the purpose of holding long trial of policemen in court of law. He said that it amounted to backstabbing the family of victim Harjit Singh.

While demanding immediate reversal of the order of Governor, Khaira said that they would move a Public Interest litigation in Punjab and Haryana High Court against the illegal order of Governor who as an appointee of President of India has misused his powers. He said that the government kept the whole exercise top secret and even released the convicted policemen from jail quietly after four and half years of sentence. Such a decision couldn’t be without high level political influence. Captain Amarinder Singh and DGP must explain urgency to recommend pardon to convicted policemen, he added.

Khaira said that constitution has given some powers to the Governor to grant pardon to convicts in rarest of rare cases where prisoner is facing life threatening disease or severe family sufferings. But the Governor has no right to pardon the murderers who took life of an innocent youth to secure out of turn promotion as mentioned by prosecution in the CBI court. He demanded to recall the order and removal of Governor from his post. He said that Governor and CM had no mercy on 19 political prisoners of Punjab detained in jails even after completing their jail terms. He quoted the case of Professor Devinderpal Singh Bhullar who completed life term and lost mental balance but Governor has no concern of his sufferings.

The PEP president said that Harjit Singh was kidnapped by Punjab Police ASI (later promoted as Inspector) Harinder Singh on October 6, 1993 from his village and killed by Uttar Pradesh Police in a fake encounter on October 12, 1993. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered CBI probe in 1996 and CBI court on December 1, 2014 convicted the four policemen and sentenced them life imprisonment.

One of the convicts was Ravinder Kumar Singh a SP rank officer of Uttar Pradesh Police and others were Inspector Brij Lal Verma Inspector, Onkar Singh constable (both Uttar Pradesh Police) and Harinder Singh Inspector Punjab Police. He said that it was also classic case of connivance of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh police in eliminating Sikh youth. He said that when police failed to register a case, the father of the victim approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court which ordered a CBI probe. He said that Mohinder Singh a poor farmer who lost everything in judicial battle against ‘encounter specialists’ was not even contacted before giving pardon to killers of his son.

Khaira said that he would take along other political parties to launch an agitation against pardon granted to convicted policemen and force the Governor to cancel his orders at administrative level or after judicial scrutiny.

Sukhbir Badal condemned the Congress party chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh for recommending the pardon of four police personnel who abducted the killed an innocent Sikh youth in 1993 to secure out of turn promotions and said the SAD would fight tooth and nail to get this unjust order overturned.