CASE HISTORY OF CUSTODIAL DEATH OF SARABJEET SINGH ALIAS SURJIT SINGH OF VALTOHA, DISTT.AMRITSAR
On Ist November, 1993, a news report, “ killed once, twice…..” was published in The Tribune, published from Chandigarh wherein Surjit Singh alias Sarabjeet Singh of Valtoha was shown killed twice. The Supreme Court took suo moto notice of the news item and ordered a CBI inquiry on I.11.1993. The C.B.I. inquiry held that Sarabjeet Singh alias Surjit Singh, a young boy of Village Valtoha in Amritsar district was picked up by a police party comprising Sub-Inspector Sita Ram, head constable Harjinder Singh, Constable Punjab Singh and Constable Manohar Singh on 30th October, 1993 from his house. He was badly tortured in there after shot, illegal custody and his condition became serious. The policemen thought him dead. They brought him to Civil Hospital, Patti, district Amritsar at about 9 P.M.on 30.10.1993 for a postmortem examination. But the doctors found him alive at the postmortem table. He was immediately administered glucose and he gained consciousness. His parents at Valtoha were informed about his well being by the doctors. But as soon as the news reached the police officers who had brought him, they informed Sub-Inspector Sita Ram who rushed back to the hospital, forcibly took away Surjit Singh and after few minutes brought his dead body for the post mortem. Incidently, two lawyers of Amritsar, Mahabir Singh Gill and Surinder Pal Singh Ghariala witnessed the whole sordid event and reported the matter to Satya Pal Dang, a veteran CPI leader who brought this matter in the press. On the orders of the Supreme Court, the CBI brought the four police officers to trial for abduction, torture and murder of Surjit Singh in the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Amritsar.
After trying the four police officers for more than four years, the court of Sh.Jora Singh, Additional Sessions Judge, Amritsar finally held Sub-Inspector Sita Ram guilty of murder under Section 302 IPC and sentenced him to life imprisonment and fine of Rs.2000. He was sentenced to another 10 years of rigorous imprisonment under Section 364 IPC (abduction) with fine of Rs.2000. His three accomplices were however let off by the court vide his order dated 18.5.1997.