Ex-Punjab Police officer arrested over 2015 firing case  

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Ex-Punjab Police officer arrested over 2015 firing case  

Chandigarh: A former Punjab Police officer was arrested on Sunday in connection with the 2015 Behbal Kalan police firing in Faridkot which claimed the lives of two people.

Charanjit Singh Sharma was arrested by a special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab Police from his residence in Hoshiarpur, around 150 km from here.

SIT sources said that Sharma resisted the arrest briefly but the team managed to take him to Amritsar where he is being questioned.

“I can confirm the arrest. He was arrested early today from his residence in Hoshiarpur. We are questioning him. We cannot share more details at this stage,” Inspector General (IG) Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, in-charge of the SIT, said.

He said Sharma will be produced in a court later on Sunday.

“We had reports that Sharma was planning to flee from the country,” the IG added.

The arrest comes after the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday dismissed a plea by Sharma and three other police officers seeking protection from prosecution in the case.

Sharma was Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in Moga district when the firing incident took place during a protest by Sikh activists against repeated incidents of sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib.

He and the other police officers – Bikramjit Singh (then SSP Fazilka), Inspector Pardip Singh and sub-inspector Amarjit Singh – were booked for murder and attempt to murder following recommendations by the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission of Inquiry.

Sharma was suspended and later compulsorily retired.

Punjab was brought to a standstill in October 2015 with radical Sikhs and others blocking highways and roads for days.

Radical Sikh leader Dhian Singh Mand, who led the protests, said on Sunday that the arrest was the first step towards taking action against those who tried to cover-up the sacrilege incidents during the tenure of the SAD-BJP government in Punjab at that time.

Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly and senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Harpal Singh Cheema said that the arrest was a good step but the process had been delayed by the Congress government in the state.

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