‘I am with the BJP, our government in both states…if I am unable to receive justice, then who will?: Gurtaj Singh Bhullar

Inebriated policemen in plainclothes, vehicles without registration plates, and policemen in plainclothes – Jaspur BJP leader Gurtaj Singh Bhullar, whose wife Gurpreet (32) was shot dead by Uttar Pradesh police two days ago at their residence in Bharatpur in Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar district, has raised grave allegations against them.

Even when police from the UP Police maintain that the victim was killed when they fired cross-fires between their squad and Jaffar the man who was suspected of illegal mining of sand whom they were trying to track, Bhullar insists the police have come up with a lie to justify the murder.

A few days earlier the Kumaon DIG Nilesh Anand Bharne had stated that UP personnel were not informed by the local police and weren’t wearing uniforms. In addition, a Forensic department official who had inspected the site said they didn’t discover evidence of cross-firing, as claimed by UP Police.

The home located in Bharatpur in which Gurpreet was killed.

Talking to The Indian Express, Bhullar, the BJP’s district block chief (pramukh) in the Jaspur Tehsil, talked about the events of Wednesday. He was taken a trip to Noida for a party gathering and returned at 4 at 4.

“My wife was also home from work at night. I was sleeping when I was informed that 10-12 men pretending to be police officers from UP and UP, had walked into our home for a search on a Jaffar who they believed had sheltered here,” he said.

Bhullar stated that the suspects been transported in two vehicles two of them – two cars – a Scorpio and the Sumo and were Armed.

“Everything took place between 6pm between 6 pm and 6.30 after 6 pm. The vehicles did not have number plates , and their windows had been tinted. They were dressed in plain clothes, were not carrying any warrant for search and they did not have any identification proof. There was no female or police officers were accompanied by the policemen. The policemen went to the top floor and entered the rooms where my sister-in-law, wife and the children were. They were stopped by me and advised them that they should first notify of the Uttarakhand officers at the police station in town (Kunda). They were drinking and started smearing. A few family members and a few of their cousins were at home when they started abusing. I tried to talk to them and took the six and seven of them down to discuss the issue. Then I heard someone shout, “Didi was shot'” He said.

Bhullar told the police that after the police returned to the upstairs room, he discovered his wife was killed in the chest. “One of the policemen killed her in front of the staircase on the first floor.

They fired three to four shots and one of them hit her. My wife was rushed to the hospital, which was where she died at the time of arrival.” he added.

According to Bhullar, the policemen ran away in one the vehicles after hearing shots. “Later I learned that the villagers caught the attention of 4 UP policemen and gave them the control of SHO Kunda the police station in this town. Their vehicle (the Sumo), which was outside the home located in the police station,” the officer said.

Bhullar claimed that the four police officers were transported to Kashipur, the civil hospital of Uttarakhand police. However, they “managed to get away” from the hospital.

“They were aware that they committed murder and were drinking, and a medical test in the hospital could have proven this. To prevent this incident, they ran away from their hospital” said the man.

Bhullar rejected the UP police report of cross-firing during which two police officers allegedly sustained injuries from gunshots. “In the CCTV footage of Kashipur Civil Hospital, they are seen climbing the stairs and then running to get away. If they had been injured and suffered injuries, why didn’t they seek medical attention and have a medical exam carried out? The cross-firing was not happening in the home,” he said.

The family claimed that four policemen were able to get away from the hospital The Kumaon DIG declared, “It was a developing situation… At the time, the details of the case weren’t certain. It wasn’t like they were fleeing from the police. The main goal was to provide medical attention to those injured. One (Uttarakhand) policeman was taking patients to the hospital, but they were in a state of panic.” he said.

Bhullar stated that the UP police created a fake story to cover up the blame and then registered an FIR with Moradabad to indict them. “I don’t have any affiliation with Jaffar. His brother-in-law is working alongside me as an official Block Development Committee member. On the request of Jaffar, I have been in contact with Jaffar about a fortnight ago, and the latter requested assistance with the claim the UP police were trying to frame him in connection to illicit mining within Thakurdwara. He wasn’t at the residence at the time of the incident… The truth is that I am not involved in mining. It has been my experience working for the BJP for the past 10 years and I have more than 30 acres to use for agriculture. My brother, who is at our house, owns the quarry in Ajitpur however it is legally legal and conforms to the rules.”

In a plea for an CBI investigation to investigate the matter, Bhullar stated: “I have two children, five-year-old daughter and a four-month-old son. I’ve gone through everything…”Ektoh parivar ujad ghar Upar se ab humare mukadme”lag rahehe” (I had to part with my entire family, and we’re now being sued). Ye kahan ka insaaf hai? I am a block pramukh from the BJP. The BJP administration is in both States… If someone like me cannot obtain justice, what is the hope for the common man?”

Outside their home, which was built on an agricultural property in Bharatpur village eight policemen and the police vehicle remained at the ready for the day. Police marked the areas where shots were fired, and family members, local villagers and politicians from all political parties poured into the scene to offer their condolences.

Gurpreet was employed for a cooperative society located in Garhinegi, Jaspur block for seven years. The couple was married in the year 2013.

In response to UP police releasing the criminal information on the family members of Bhullar, Bhullar said, “All these cases were filed 10-12 years ago under the Congress government in this state. We’ve been cleared of the vast majority of cases… This is not related to the present case.”

Although Uttarakhand police have filed a case under multiple IPC sections, which includes murder, for eleven-12 unknown UP police officers, however, officials from Kumaon DIG said no arrest was made as of yet.

A Moradabad (UP) officer of Moradabad (UP), too, have filed an FIR against Jaffar and 30 to 35 people who are not identified. The police released a statement on Friday. DIG (Moradabad Range) Shalabh Mathur stated, “No arrest has been made. Investigations are underway.” Concerning allegations made in the case by Bhullar in his complaint against UP Police, Mathur stated, “We had alerted the local police prior to conducting the raid. Police officers were dressed in uniforms, but they were not all wearing civil attire.”

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