CHANDIGARH, India: A magisterial enquiry ordered into the killing Of Parminder! Singh “Jim” at Gurdaspur on the night of August 31 in firing by security personnel has indicted a BSF patrol party for “overreacting” and “concocting evidence” subsequently, it is reliably learnt.

According to the official version of the incident, a BSF party saw five or six youths standing on the Geeta Bhavan road at Gurdaspur around 10:30 p.m. On seeing the BSF, they started running and also fired at the patrol. After the return fire by the BSF, one person was found dead with a pistol lying close by while the others escaped.

The District Magistrate had asked Mr. Kulwant Singh, Subdivisional Magistrate, Batala, to enquire into the incident following wide resentment in the area. A number of representations were made to the DM by people of the area.

The enquiry officer, who submitted his report to the DM in October, stated that the BSF party overreacted because the fleeing youths could have been overpowered otherwise. The deceased did not have a weapon with him and it was “planted against him to cover up the killing”, the enquiry officer opined.

The SDM, however, confirmed the BSF version that the deceased and the others started running towards their houses when they saw the BSF patrol approaching them.

The SDM also stated that in order to cover up the crime and to dispose of the body, Parminder Singh was shown as “unknown” in police records though he was identified by people immediately after the incident.

The enquiry states, that while the patrol of 54th Battalion of the BSF was led by an Assistant Commandant, the firing was done by a jawan, who fired four rounds, the enquiry officer has named the personnel involved.

According to the version given by members of the family of the deceased, Parminder Singh was the son of Raghbir Singh and lived in Secretary Mohalla of Gurdaspur. He had gone to the area of the incident to enquire after a friend belonging to another community. The incident occurred when he was taking leave of his friends. In fact members of both communities deposed before the enquiry officer. Five personnel of the BSF, too, were examined, who reiterated their earlier version that they were fired at by the group.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 15, 1988