Punjab and Haryana High Court orders judicial inquiry into farmer Shubhkaran Singh’s death

Shubhkaran Singh

Just about a fortnight after 21-year-old farmer Shubhkaran Singh lost his life at the Punjab-Haryana border, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday ordered a judicial inquiry into his death. The High Court also made it clear that the inquiry could not be handed over to Punjab or Haryana “for obvious reasons”.

The assertion came as the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia and Justice Lapita Banerji constituted a three-member committee, comprising a retired High Court judge and two ADGP-rank officers from Haryana and Punjab. The names are to be furnished by the States by 4 pm today.

“Children were being used as shield, this is absolutely shameful…. It is a sad state of affairs, children who are supposed to study in school are shown what they should not be…it was a war-like situation.” the Bench verbally observed.

The Bench also questioned the State of Haryana on the kind of bullets and pellets used on protesters before observing that the death was apparently a case of excess police force.

The Punjab Police also found itself at the receiving end for delay in lodging an FIR after taking note of the fact that the incident occurred on February 21, but the FIR was lodged on February 28.