Episode 1- In a tell-all confessional account, former Police Inspector, Gurmeet Singh Pinky, reveals the sordid tale of kidnappings and fake encounters during anti-militancy operations
Episode 2- the once blue-eyed boy of senior officers, reveals how a Professor of PAU, Ludhiana, Rajinderpal Singh Bulara was kidnapped and killed in a fake encounter. He also reveals the “cat and mouse” game of police “CATS” , Gurbachan singh saidpur a cat who help in many arrest and those arrested were killed.
Episode 3 – The controversial Police Inspector gives an eye-witness account of how a suspected militant was shot in a police station by a senior officer. Pinky also reveals alleged connivance between certain top-level officials and militants , Gurjant singh.
Episode 4 – throws fresh light on the elimination of four members of the family of a militant by a Nihang Chief allegedly on the asking of a senior officer who faced a dastardly militant attack. He also reveals the custodial death due to torture of a suspect in a Police station in Chandigarh. None of these actions were inquired into.
Episode 5 – The “killer cop”, Gurmeet Singh Pinky narrates how not only were some top militants caught and eliminated but even petty criminals were killed for money in “encounters”.
Episode 6 – claims that “secret funds” were being misused to defend cops facing criminal charges and pay off convicted cops and their families. The concluding episode also carries a “Secret” communication from IB Special Director to Punjab DGP, which gives out the unwritten “policy” in operation in Punjab during militancy
Gurmeet Singh Pinky throws fresh light on the elimination of four members of the family of a militant by a Nihang Chief allegedly on the asking of a senior officer who faced a dastardly militant attack. He also reveals the custodial death due to torture of a suspect in a Police station in Chandigarh. None of these actions were inquired into.
‘Pinka Mohali shot in my presence’
Pinky narrates a shocking case in which he personally saw Saini, then Ludhiana SSP, shoot militant Pinka Mohali with his weapon at CIA, Ludhiana. Listed as a non-hardcore militant, Pinka was arrested by a CRPF party led by Chanchal Singh and handed over to CIA, Ludhiana. He was interrogated in the presence of Saini, and when he refused to part with any information, the police tried to force a cyanide capsule down his throat. The pill did not have the desired effect so he was forced to drink pesticide. But this too did not work. Seeing this, Saini, according to Pinky, lost his cool and shot Pinka in the forehead. When asked who all were present when this happened, Pinky says there was, besides himself, cop Satpal (who later became a sub-inspector). Pinky recalls how Satpal tried to take credit for the arrest and requested the SSP to give him a C2 (which would enable him to get promoted to the next rank of head constable). “The SSP jokingly told him that if he drank the rest of the pesticide mixture, he would give him the C2!” Saini says. Satpal, who was also Shiv Kumar’s driver, panicked. Shiv Kumar himself was also there on the scene as was CRPF’s Chanchal Singh and Joginder Singh Khaira, SP (D). Then CIA inspector Sant Kumar took the body away in a Gypsy and reportedly dumped it in the Bhakhra canal, as was the norm. As the arrest of Pinka Mohali had not been shown, no case was registered and the killing remained unknown to the outside world. The family members of Pinka Mohali, whose real name was Jasbir Singh, were never given any information of his death in police custody, forget his body or any of his belongings. His brother Ajitpal Singh said he was in Mumbai when a close relative informed him about Pinka’s death in an “encounter” somewhere in Ludhiana district. They had learnt about it later from a newspaper cutting.
The elimination of the Jatanas
Pinky also talks about certain cases that took place in Chandigarh while Saini was SSP. His favourite at the time, Pinky would spend most of his time in Chandigarh even though he was still officially posted in Ludhiana. On August 9, 1991, Saini was returning after lunch when there was a bomb attack. Three persons were killed, and the SSP was among those injured. Since just a week earlier, he had received a threatening letter from Babbar Khalsa, he suspected this to be the handiwork of its activists Balwinder Singh Jatana and Charanjit Singh Channa. The day after the attack, when Pinky went to call on him at the PGI, Saini broke down and swore revenge. In chaste Punjabi, he told him “apan chadna nahin” (we will not spare them).
Four members of the Jatana family—aged 80 years, 40 years, 13 years, and an infant—were killed and set on fire. No one is willing to talk about it even now, except to say that it happened at about 2.30 in the night. “Early morning, the village granthi saw the burnt house and informed everyone,” says a villager. Jatana and Channa were killed later on September 4, 1991, in an encounter at Saidpur in Patiala. The attack on Saini, it later turned out, had in fact been carried out by another outfit, Khalistan Liberation Force, and the Jatanas had no role in it.
It was he who had been initially assigned to carry out the attack in Jatana village, says Pinky. He told Saini he would have to procure weapons for the task from Ludhiana, where he was posted. Pinky left for Ludhiana soon after, only to discover that the deed had been done by the time he was returning to Chandigarh. The attack had been carried out by Ajit Singh Poohla, who narrated the whole sequence of events to Pinky while the two were lodged in jail in Ludhiana. In 2008, Poohla was attacked, kerosene poured on him and he was set on fire by fellow inmates in Amritsar jail. He died soon after.
Saini’s vengeance, however, went on. Channa’s brother Balwinder Singh, a head constable himself, was killed by a gun-wielding motorcyclist at about the same time. “While this was given out to be the result of gang warfare, it was the handiwork of the police on instructions from seniors,” Pinky claims. Satpal Channa, a third brother, says Balwinder had gone to the market when he was shot. “His killing has remained a mystery all these years,” he says. Pinky remembers how the Jatana village incident kicked up a huge row within the police. Muhammad Mustafa, the then SSP Ropar wrote to the then DGP, D.S. Mangat, alleging that SSP Saini was behind the dastardly elimination of the family. It was rightly suspected that Poohla or Pinky were behind the killing. “Lest we were arrested and the plot unravelled, Poohla was informally detained in Jalandhar and I in Chandigarh Police Lines in Sector 26 for many weeks,” says Pinky. “It was only when K.P.S. Gill replaced Mangat as DGP that we were ‘released’ from custody.”
video: Kanwar Sandhu