LUCKNOW: The judicial inquiry into the Pilibhit killings is caught in a legal quagmire. As the Justice KP Singh Commission comes close to completing its work the process appears to be “jinxed.”

The three-month deadline for the commission was extended by nine months by the Kalyan Singh government which had ordered the {judicial probe into three alleged fake encounters in which the police claimed to have shot dead 10 Sikh militants. Eye-witness accounts and circumstantial evidence contradicted the police version it was claimed that those killed were police.

With the high court staying the proceedings of the commission following a writ petition challenging the validity of the constitution of the commission The Justice KP Singh Commission has thought another six months for completion of the inquiry.

The snail’s pace at which the commission conducted its business is being viewed with “suspicion” by Sikh leaders The UP Sikh Pratinidhi Board leaders have expressed the apprehension that the delay would give enough time to the guilty police officers to manipulate documents and other evidence that contradicted the police version of “encounters.”

 What appears to have stirred a hornets nest is the refusal by the commission to make on-the-spot inquiry in Pilibhit and to hold the proceedings in Bareilly or Pilibhit. At present the commission has its headquarters in Allahabad. The commission’s refusal to hold sittings in Pilibhit came after the district magistrate and S.P Pilibhit refused to provide security 1 the commission.

 The U.P. Sikh Pratinidhi Board president this as yet another instance of manipulation by the bureaucracy to prevent the commission from getting at the truth.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 1, 1992