CHANDIGARH: Former Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Kultar Singh and four other were on Wednesday sentenced to eight-year imprisonment while a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) rank officer Hardev Singh got four years in jail by a court in Amritsar in a mass suicide case 16 years ago.
Additional Sessions Judge (Amritsar) Sandeep Singh Bajwa pronounced the punishment.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs 23,000 on Kultar and each of four others relatives of the deceased (Sabreen, Mohinder Singh, sister Parminder Kaur and her husband Palwinderpal Singh) and Rs 20,000 on DSP Hardev.
All of them were convicted in the case on Tuesday.
Kultar was convicted of abetting suicide, extortion, criminal conspiracy and forgery. The four relatives were convicted of abetting suicide, extortion and criminal intimidation. Hardev was held guilty of criminal conspiracy, the disappearance of evidence and forging documents.
On October 31, 2004 Hardeep Singh, a resident of Chowk Karori locality in Amrirtsar along with wife Romi, mother Jaswant Kaur, and children Simran and Ismeet had committed suicide by consuming poison.
Before taking the extreme step, the family had written a suicide note on the walls of a room in their house accusing their relatives and the then SSP Kultar Singh of extortion and criminal intimidation that forced them to take the extreme step.
In 2009, Punjab Human Rights Organisation activist Sarabjit Singh Verka first brought the matter before a local court and sought justice for the victims as police were not allegedly probing the case seriously despite having instituted three probes.