Judicial inquiry into farmer’s death on Punjab-Haryana border ordered by HC

On Thursday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ruled that a judicial investigation will be conducted into the killing of farmer Shubhkaran Singh, 22, who was shot and killed by police at the Punjab-Haryana border.

A division bench consisting of Justice Lapita Banerji and Acting Chief Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia was considering appeals pertaining to farmers’ outcry over the young farmer’s death. In order to look into the case, the bench also formed a three-person team that included two ADGP-rank officials from Punjab and Haryana and a former High Court judge. Orally, the court said, “Investigations cannot be given to Punjab or Haryana for obvious reasons.”

The court noted that the death was an instance of excessive police force after questioning Haryana about the kind of bullets and pellets used on demonstrators. The petitioner in the case, advocate Udhay Partap Singh, said that the court had mandated a judicial investigation into Shubhkaran Singh’s death.

“A retired high court judge and two Additional DGP rank officers from Punjab and Haryana will conduct the probe,” he said.

The Leader of the Opposition in Punjab, Partap Singh Bajwa, responded to the high court’s directives by stating that the committee’s main goal will be to determine whose jurisdiction Shubhkaran’s death occurred in. It would also look at the kind of weapon that was used to murder the young farmer.

The AAP administration is still working to prove that Singh’s killing happened under the Garhi police station’s jurisdiction in the Haryana district of Jind. But the division bench seemed unconvinced by the story.

murdered at a demonstration

Shubhkaran, a Bathinda resident, was slain and twelve police officers were injured in fighting at the Khanauri border crossing between Punjab and Haryana on February 21. The incident happened when a few farmers who were protesting tried to get closer barriers.

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