Haryana cops kill student ‘by mistake’, constable held (Lead)

November 3rd, 2008 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhiwani (Haryana), Nov 3 (IANS) A college student returning from a party was shot dead at point blank range by a police team that mistook him for a gangster, prompting an embarrassed Haryana government to arrest a head constable and order a magisterial inquiry.It also registered cases against eight policemen following the incident late Sunday.

Kuldip, 22, a final-year graduation student in Vaish College here was returning to this town, 300 km from Chandigarh, after a party when a group of policemen shot him in the head at point-blank range. The student, who was to get married soon, died on the spot, eyewitnesses said.

“We were going on our motorcycle when two police Gypsys came and two-three officials came out and started firing. Kuldip was hit in the head and he died on the spot. The police officials were drunk,” Hukum Singh, a friend of Kuldip, said.

“They killed him by firing from point blank range. He was unarmed. What was his mistake?” asked Kuldip’s brother Vikas.

Bhiwani Deputy Superintendent of Police Ram Avtar said the police team was looking for a gangster called Dara Singh, who was allegedly involved in a recent bank robbery, and shot Kuldip “by mistake”.

“They had information that a gangster was moving in the area. They shot Kuldip by mistake,” Ram Avtar told IANS.

Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) Ranjiv Dalal also said that the shooting was the result of mistaken identity.

“They did not stop their motorcycle when they were asked to stop. The police team fired at them and the youth died. A thorough probe will find out the reality,” Dalal said.

However, he was unable to say why the police fired at the youth just because he did not stop the motorcycle.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda termed the incident unfortunate and announced a compensation of Rs 500,000 to the victim’s family.

“This is an unfortunate incident. The fault was of one policeman. He has been punished with arrest and a case against him,” Hooda said in New Delhi.

But angry relatives demanded stern action against the policemen and a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.

“I can go and kill the CM (Hooda) and give a compensation of Rs.50 lakh (Rs.5 million). Will that be ok? The compensation for us is meaningless. Kuldip will not come back. We will be satisfied only if a CBI probe is ordered and tough action is taken against the policemen,” a relative of the victim said here.

There was tension in the town as angry relatives and supporters surrounded a police station near the clock tower here and burnt a police motorcycle. They also pelted stones at the police station till police reinforcements arrived.

The agitators were demanding arrest of the policemen who killed Kuldip and wanted a murder case lodged against them.

Former Bhiwani MP Kuldip Bishnoi demanded that a case of murder be registered against Hooda for letting loose a reign of terror in the state through the police.

“So many fake encounters have taken place in the four years of Hooda rule. He should be booked too,” Bishnoi said.

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