CHANDIGARH: Radical Sikh organization Dal Khalsa has urged the Punjab and Haryana High Court to set up a judicial commission to probe into the possession of illegal weapons with a few serving policemen and the use of extra-constitutional force by security forces in the name of fighting militancy in the state.
The fresh demand by the Sikh group comes in the wake of the police investigation of Inspector Inderjeet Singh not progressing beyond his arrest. Inderjeet Singh was arrested in a drug related case and with an AK-47 rifle in possession on June 12.
Party leader Kanwar Pal Singh said there were far too many skeletons in the cupboard of the Punjab police. “The chief justice should take suo motto notice and hold a full-scale impartial public inquiry to reinforce people's faith in democracy and rule of law."
“Our plea to the judiciary is part of our renewed attempt to revitalize respect for human rights in Punjab,” he said.
Defining the extra-constitutional force as “cats”, Kanwar Pal Singh said "cats" were raised by a select group of IPS officers to counter militancy by operating outside the ambit of law. Since they were immune to the law, most of them engaged in crimes ranging from land grabbing to smuggling of narcotics, he said.
Terming the recent recovery of illegal arms from the lower-ranked officer Inderjeet Singh as the tip of the iceberg, Kanwar Pal Singh said during the militancy period in Punjab, a huge cache of AK-47 rifles, besides ammunition and explosive materials, were reported to be seized from the arrested militants. A section of the policemen, however, concealed the weapons and never brought them on record, he alleged.
He said that two AK-47 were missing from Kartarpur police station. “The officer revealed that the weapons were from cases filed in 1991 and 1993 and further said that they do not have records of such recoveries after 1997.’’
Kanwar Pal Singh alleged, since the political leadership had been patronizing the illegal acts of the police, the only hope left was the judiciary, and added that Dal Khalsa would write to the Chief Justice on the matter once the court reopened in July.
He recalled how the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and court did not act on the matter after former deputy general of police S S Virk admitted the prevalence of the “cat culture” in Punjab.