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ADGP Chaudhary lied, changed stand’ Justice Ranjit Singh Commission’s Interim Report Says He Was Evasive

August 09, 2018 06:04 AM


ADGP Chaudhary lied, changed stand’
Justice Ranjit Singh Commission’s Interim Report Says He Was Evasive


Punjab’s former ADGP (law and order) Rohit Chaudhary has been accused by the Justice Ranjit Singh commission that is probing sacrilege cases and the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing cases of being completely evasive, telling lies and changing his statements.

Chaudhary is posted as ADGP (railways) in Patiala at present.

In its interim report, the commission says, “This witness (Chaudhary) was apparently aware of much more details about the police action and about the handling of the situation, but had made an attempt to remain evasive. He is seen telling lies. He, being senior officer present in the vicinity ought to have acted pro-actively guiding the officers handling the ground situation and he did not do so.”

Two persons were killed in the Behbal Kalan police firing on October 14, 2015 and one was injured in the Kotkapura chowk firing. When Chaudhary initially appeared before the commission, he filed a single page affidavit stating he had neither conducted any inquiry nor carried out investigation of any sacrilege cases. He also submitted that he was not present at the spot on October 14, 2015 and thus, had nothing to inform the commission.

It was while questioning him, the commission came to know that Chaudhary as the ADGP (law and order) was responsible for mobilising the police. The commission noted, “The CW-79 (Chaudhary) was the senior-most officer present at Faridkot and Kotkapura and was there primarily due to a situation arising out of dharna at Kotkapura. He is, thus, seen being evasive in order to save himself from the responsibility arising out of the situation which ultimately developed at Kotkapura.”

Indicting Chaudhary, the commission has said, “This witness (Chaudhary) is not novice to understand the role expected from senior officers like ADGP (law and order). He has purposely declined to share the complete facts in his knowledge with the commission.”

When asked for his reaction to the commission’s report, Chaudhary refused to say anything to TOI, except, “I am at home and do not entertain such calls.”

Before the commission, Chaudhary had even denied that he had issued any instruction to the officers to handle the situation in a particular manner. “But he was at his evasive best in remaining vague by answering that he did not remember when he learnt about the clash at Kotkapura or who informed him. Surprisingly, he claimed that he did not inform the DGP or the government when DGP on his own showing, spoke to him to enquire about the well-being of the injured,” according to the report.

The then ADGP (law and order) had even failed to take appropriate action after learning that one person had been admitted to a Faridkot hospital with bullet injury. The commission said, “As a senior officer, he ought to have enquired about the person responsible for this act, but he did not try to find out anything in this regard. While answering this aspect, he said that he did not do so as he was not the inquiry officer.”

When Chaudhary appeared before the commission for a second time on August 24, 2017, he came with a fourpage affidavit containing many details, whereas he had stated earlier that he had nothing to state. “It was then revealed that he had carried out discussion about the progress of investigation at Faridkot with the officer named in his affidavit. He had also visited village Bargari accompanied by IG Jitender Jain and other senior officers where he interacted with the witnesses,” the commission said.

The report reads, “Yet another interesting conduct of this witness (Chaudhary) surfaced when his statement recorded in his presence was put before him for his signature. He, on his own, carried out corrections with pencil in his statement which he could not have done.”

By way of amendment, Chaudhary wanted to change the manner in which he spoke to the DGP and also wanted to convey that incident happened two years back and it was difficult to remember the exact sequence of events. When the ADGP was apprised that he cannot amend the earlier statement and should sign on the corrections suggested by him separately, he then stated to let his original statement remain as it was. “Whatever be the situation, this action of the witness in blowing hot and cold cannot be appreciated,” reads the report.

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