Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Three proclaimed offenders in sacrilege cases continue to dodge Punjab police for over a year

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | December 03, 2022 03:43 PM

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Police has not been able to arrest three accused in the sacrilege cases even though 16 months have passed since they were declared proclaimed offenders (POs) by a Faridkot court.

According to sources the three POs Harsh Dhuri, Sandeep Bareta and Pardeep Kler were recently seen attending congregations held by Baba Ram Raheem Singh at Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, during his 40-day parole. They also continue to occasionally visit Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) headquarters in Sirsa.

All three PO are members of the DSS National Committee against whom three FIRs were registered in 2015 at Baghapurana police station in Punjab.

In response to queries sent by indianarrative.com, the Punjab Police said: "A dedicated of around 22 police personnel along with 2 vehicles under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner of Police Mukhwinder Bhullar was put on their (proclaimed offenders) trails in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and National Capital Region (NCR) which put in strenuous efforts."

The police claim that sources have been planted at all those places such as DSS which the POs can visit. Even intelligence inputs have been sought from Goa.

"But despite all these efforts, POs are still to be located," the Punjab Police said in a statement.

A source associated with one of the Special Investigation Team's (SIT) alleged that nothing had come into the public domain about the role of the then DGP who tried his level best to "de-link" the sacrilege accused from the DSS.

Interestingly, in July 2020 a Judicial Magistrate First Class in Faridkot showed his reluctance to accept a challan in FIR number 63 of 2015 presented by an SIT officer, on the grounds that CBI had earlier filed a cancellation report.

The challan presenting officer replied that the court may then reject the challan if it so liked. The case was then adjourned for a final order on the next date. However, later the Punjab and Haryana High court directed the SIT to present the CBI's cancellation report along with its charge-sheet.

In August this year, the Punjab and Haryana high court ordered the reconstitution of a fourth SIT to probe the death of DSS follower Mohinder Pal Singh Bittu, an accused in the 2015 sacrilege case, who was murdered in the Nabha jail.

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