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Crime Patrol: 25 yrs after Dhatt’s murder, 3 Punjab former cops get jail (Episode 419, 420 on 20th, 21st Sep 2014)



The Inside Story

Hoshiarpur, Punjab

Justice served after 25 years: Three Punjab Police personnel convicted in abduction and murder case

98-year-old Parkash Kaur, the younger sister of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, finally finds justice as three Punjab Police personnel are convicted in the case of the alleged abduction and murder of her son-in-law's brother, Kuljeet Singh Dhatt. The Additional Sessions Judge, Poonam R Joshi, sentenced the three convicted officers to five years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 2.1 lakh each. The other two accused in the case have already passed away.

Kuljit Singh Dhatt was abducted by the police from Ambala Jattan village on July 23, 1989, along with five others. While the others were released, Kuljit's fate remained unknown. Harbhajan, Kuljit's brother, was the son-in-law of martyr Bhagat Singh's sister, Parkash Kaur. The public protested for Kuljit's release, and two days later, the police filed an FIR stating that Kuljit was arrested at a checkpoint on the intervening night of July 25 and 26, 1989.

According to the initial FIR, it was claimed that Kuljit confessed to hiding weapons and ammunition on the banks of the Beas River. The police alleged that when taken to the location for the weapons' recovery, he broke free and jumped into the river. Subsequently, another FIR was filed, mentioning that Kuljit was spotted during a firing incident in an area under the Tanda police station. Parkash Kaur and Kuljit's wife approached the Supreme Court, which constituted an inquiry commission headed by retired Sessions judge HL Randev in September 1990.

In 1993, the commission submitted its report, holding five policemen accountable for abducting and eliminating Dhatt. The accused officers were then booked for criminal conspiracy, abduction, and illegal confinement. However, the case remained pending in the high court for over 14 years. Parkash Kaur, based in Canada, moved the Supreme Court to expedite the hearing. Today, the court has convicted SPS Basra, Jaspal Singh, and Sita Ram, while Sardul Singh and AS Sandhu have already passed away.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the sentence, Harbhajan Singh, Dhatt's brother, stated that after 25 years of legal battles, they have not received adequate justice. They plan to appeal to the high court for an enhanced sentence.


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