Suspended IGP Umrangal granted bail by Faridkot court

Faridkot, March 11: The District and Sessions Court on Monday directed the release of suspended Inspector General of Police (IGP) Paramraj Singh Umranangal on bail.

He was arrested by the SIT on February 19. The SIT is probing Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing incidents that took place in October 2015.

File Photo

Setting aside the claim of SIT that Umranangal’s presence at the time of clash between the police and protesters at Kotkapura on October 14, 2015, was unofficial, Sessions Judge Harpal Singh said he was deputed by the then DGP to control the situation.

Not agreeing with another claim of the SIT that Umranangal was commanding the police which opened firing on the protesters to disperse them, the court said none of the injured person in his statement before the SIT had said that Umranangal was leading or commanding the police team.

Even the complainant in this attempt of murder case, Ajit Singh, has not named Umranangal as accused. The SIT admitted that Umranangal was deputed at Kotkapura by the then DGP.

In their statements to the SIT, many protesters had named DIGs Ranbir Singh Khatra, Amar Singh Chahal and Paramraj Singh and SSP Sukhminder Singh Mann and other police officers of pressurising them to lift the dharna.

None of them had named Umranangal as leading or commanding the police team that caused injuries to them, said the judge.

Umranangal also produced the MLR and OPD record of more than 40 police officials who were injured during the clash. Counsels for both Umranangal and the SIT played the CCTV footage on a laptop in the court that showed that the police officials were also attacked by the protesters. A police vehicle used to operate water cannon was set afire and its driver was brutally beaten up by the protesters, said the Sessions Judge.

Opposing the bail to Umranangal, the counsel for the SIT argued that the suspended IG could influence the witnesses in the case. The court said as the investigation was underway, keeping Umranangal behind bars for indefinite period was not going to serve any purpose.

The court then ordered that Umranangal be released from the custody subject to his furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and a surety of Rs 50,000.