Kotkapura firing: SIT quizzes former Punjab DGP on his role in crowd control

Chandigarh: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) questioned former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini for two hours on Monday in connection with Kotkapura police firing of 2015 over sacrilege incidents. The inquiry started at 3 pm and continued for two hours.

It is perhaps for the first time that a former Director General of Police has been questioned on his role in crowd control. The SIT, headed by ADGP Prabodh Kumar and IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap, along with three other members quizzed Saini at the 82 Battalion office near civil secretariat.

Handed over mobile videos to SIT

Saini had brought with him important documents related to the case and some mobile videos, which he handed over to the SIT members. There were three video clips connected with Kotkapura incident.

Some people were provoking protesters’

The SIT had readied about 22 questions. Saini himself asked sleuths what they wanted to know from him.

SIT members asked Saini what the situation was like when he got information about the Kotkapura shootout. Saini replied that the demonstration in Kotkapura was not peaceful. At that time some people were provoking protesters.

Saini said the police tried to convince the people to go for about four hours and even arranged buses for them. Women and some others were being taken away from there, but suddenly the protesters started clashing. The situation worsened.

Duty magistrate gave orders to open fire: Ex-DGP

The former DGP said the cops were attacked with swords. More force was rushed to the spot and the police were compelled to act firmly to control the situation. He said the order to open fire was given by duty magistrate. There were six magistrates on the spot, Saini said. In the clash 40 police officers and 10 protesters got injured. They were later shifted to the hospital, he said.

The SIT is investigating the reasons behind the firing on Sikh protesters while they were agitating against sacrilege in 2015, during the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) government in Punjab (2007-2017).

The SIT has already arrested two senior police officers — Inspector General (IG) of Police Parampal Singh Umranangal and former Moga Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Charanjit Sharma — in connection with the firing incidents.