Was the late Punjab Governor, Mr. Surendra Nath, who died in a plane crash with nine family members, behind the thousands of killings in Punjab and Kashmir through a third agency?
According to highly placed sources, the Union Government had made available a huge amount of Rs. 4500 crore to Mr. Surendra Nath, IPS, who held many a prestigious post from time to time, to `prop up' terrorism in Punjab and Kashmir in a bid to defame the Punjab and Kashmir militants. Both the Union Home Minister Mr. S.B. Chavan and the Internal Security Minister Mr. Rajesh Pilot were well aware of the fact that Mr. Nath had very successfully infiltrated `officials' of the Punjab and Kashmir Government into various terrorist groups.
What is further intriguing the minds of the people of Punjab is the ignorance being feigned by the Government of India, especially its Home Ministry regarding the `seizures' made from `Punjab Raj Bhawan' after the demise of Mr. Nath. The total `collection' amounts to Rupees 800 crore inclusive of cash, jewelry, and other immovable property. In fact, according to sources, this `body' seems to be a part of the amount of Rs. 4500 crore which was placed at the disposal of Mr. Surendra Nath to root out terrorism.
Mr. Surendra Nath played an all important role to give strength to the hitherto lesser known C.I.S.F. (Central Industrial Security Force) and it is being alleged that some of `its' men were used to kill innocent persons including the family members of the Punjab police personnel as well as teachers, doctors, engineers, media men and political personalities.
A `suspended' police official Bakhsish Singh remained very close to Mr. Surendra Nath. Mr. Singh was the security in charge of the all time high-profile top Akali leader and the former Punjab Finance Minister Mr. Balwant Singh who was gunned down by `terrorists' in broad day light. Mr. Bakhsish Singh was immediately suspended after the ghastly murder of Mr. Balwant Singh. But with the advent of Mr. Surendra Nath as the Governor of Punjab- Mr. Bakhsish Singh, a Nath confidant, re-approved on the scene and enjoyed a very easy access to Mr. Surendra Nath even at `odd' hours and was `well informed' of all the `secret missions' of the late Governor.
Though the Union Home Minister, Mr S.B. Chavan has denied that currency has been seized from the Punjab Raj Bhavan, he has further complicated the issue by saying that only the Prime Minister Mr. Rao could say anything about the `seizures' made from the Raj Bhavan.
Though the veteran CPI leader and the former Punjab Minister, Mr. Satyapal Dang as well as the Khalistan protagonist Mr. Simranjit Singh Mann have asked for a CBI probe into the Punjab Raj Bhavan seizures, the Government of India is maintaining a studied silence. Meanwhile, a Human Rights protagonist and an advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has filed a written petition in the Supreme Court for a CBI probe into the matter.
According to sources, the list of seizures prepared by intelligence agencies is very long and is consisting of Rupees 110 crore in cash, jewelry worth Rupees 40 crore, immovable property worth Rupees 650 crore, various political bangalows and farm houses and above all his attempt to grab land near Kullu at a throw away price of Rupees 8 crore.
The Prime Minister, these sources maintain, is annoyed with both Mr. Chawan and Mr. Pilot since he feels that their infighting is behind all this `leakage' to media persons and may have a `damaging influence' on the Congress I performance in the ensuring elections being held in the Southern States.
[N.B. 1 crore equal to 10 millions]
CHANDIGARH, November 9: Mr. Satwant Singh Manak, Black Cat Commando in the Punjab Police, today made startling disclosures through a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
He alleged that as many as 11 innocent citizens of the state were killed by the Punjab Police in his presence. He also elaborate details of the persons killed.
A Division Bench consisting of Mr. Justice R.P. Sethi and Mr. Justice Sat Pal issued notice of motion to the state of Punjab, the Director-General of Police, Mr. Bakshi Ram (Deputy Inspector-General, Ferozpur Range), Mr. Jarwinder Singh, Mr. M.K. Tiwari and Ishwar Chander (all SSPs), Mr. Surjit Singh, Mr. K.B. Singh and Mr. A Gautam (SPs), Mr. Bachan Singh Randhawa (DSP) and other police officials also.
Those killed by the Punjab Police as alleged by the petitioner were Nirmal Singh Nimma, a resident of Rajeana village in Faridkot district, Mr. Baljit Singh of Wadaghar, Mr. Kulwant Singh Kanta of Ghumiara village, Mr. Baljinder Singh Bijliwala, Mr. Kartar Singh Karmitti, Mr. Bahal Singh of Padhari village, Mr. Satwant Singh Sodhi of Chogawan village, Mr. Gurmukh Singh of Langiana village, Mr. Gurcharan Singh of Moga and Mr. Nacchhattar Singh Fauji of Daudhar village.
Mr. D.S. Rajput and Mr. M.S. Gill, counsel for the petitioner, contended that the persons killed were earlier tortured both physically and mentally by the police in C.I.A. Staff, Moga, and other police stations. Some of the bodies were cremated without following legal formalities. They were shown to have been killed in fake encounters. The police officers resorted to this modus operandi to earn cash awards and out-of-turn promotions. Some of the persons were killed in the presence of the petitioner, but he was helpless because everything was being done at the behest of his superiors.
They submitted that the petitioner was kept in illegal police custody and was badly tortured.
It was argued by Mr. Rajput that the inquiry regarding the murder of 11 persons should be made by the CBI or a sitting judge of the high court. The guilty officers should be arrested and an FIR lodged against them. It was also demanded that the next of kin of the deceased should be given compensation of Rs. 2 lakh. The petitioner also sought security cover either by the CRPF or ITBP as he apprehended a threat to his life.