March 20, 2020
The Special Investigation Team headed by Siddhartha Chattopadhyay has told the Punjab & Haryana High Court that there was some kind of link between the fake encounter of Damdami Taksal activist Gurnam Bandala and disappearance of an innocent Sikh youth Sukhpal Singh.
The SIT has presented the statements of Sukhpal Singh’s wife Dalbir Kaur, his neighbors, prominent personalities of village Kala Afghana and Colonel GS Sandhu besides the statements of Gurnam Bandala.
According to the investigation report submitted by the SIT, Bandala was shown killed in Morinda police station but he is still alive.
The SIT has also claimed that the SHO of Morinda police station has submitted a report in the Ropar Court that this case was unsolved. However, the Ropar Court’s record room authorities have denied any such kind of report.
Meanwhile, the SIT has said that it will seek permission from the Ropar Court to further probe the case.
It is noteworthy here that the Punjab police had killed an innocent Sikh youth Sukhpal Singh Kala Afghana in a fake encounter in 1994 and had shown it the encounter of Damdami Taksal affiliated Gurnam Bandala, who was once a close aide of Baba Thakur Singh.
It is believed that this was an attempt by the Punjab police cops to provide a new life to Gurnam Bandala with a new identity. After the downfall of the Sikh militancy movement, several Sikh youths active in the Sikh militancy were rehabilitated by the Punjab police under new names after showing them killed in fake encounters. Such a case of Amritpal Sukhi remained in news during the early years of the last decade.
On coming under fire after exposure Amritpal Sukhi’s case, the former Punjab DGP Sarbdeep Virk had admitted of “rehabilitating” more than 400 such youths.
In a book named Neeh Rakhi Gayi, senior journalist Mohinder Singh had exposed Gurnam Bandala’s role in misguiding Baba Thakur Singh about the martyrdom of the great Sikh of 20th century Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale due to which the Damdami Taksal didn’t declare the martyrdom of Sant Bhindranwale for about two decades.
A faction of Damdami Taksal headed by Amrik Singh Ajnala still believes that Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale escaped Sri Akal Takht Sahib during June-1984’s holocaust and he is still alive.
Gurnam Bandala is also accused of carrying out several internecine killings of prominent Sikh militants like Sukhdev Singh Sakhira and Gurinder Singh Bhola besides several other All India Sikh Student Federation leaders.