Saturday, December 17

Justice: Delayed & Denied

Ranjit Singh Gill alias Kukki released from jail after 17 years is not a free man yet

Shiela Dixit's government's inaction on remission to Ranjit Singh Gill in Lalit Maken murder case has given credence to the assertion of it being a political case.
Out on bail after being seventeen years behind bars, Ranjit Singh Gill is still not a free man. While granting bail to him, Delhi High Court put restrictions on his movement. He can't go beyond the boundaries of Ludhiana district except for his court appearance. He has to report twice a week in a local police station.
Ranjit Singh Gill, son of eminent agriculture scientist Dr. Khem Singh Gill, who is a Padma Bhushan awardee and former Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, was convicted of murdering Congress trade union leader Lalit Maken and his wife Geetanjali on July 31, 1985. Lalit Maken, the son in law of then president S.D. Sharma, figured among the suspects behind 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) listed 227 people who led the mobs, which killed up to 3,000 Sikhs over three days. Lalit Maken's name was third on the list with a brief description: "Lalit Maken reportedly paid the mobsters Rs.100 each plus a bottle of liquor. A white Ambassador car reportedly belonging to him came four times to the GT Road area near Azadpur. Instructions to mobs indulging in arson were given from inside the car." The judgment against Ranjit Singh Gill says that it was on the basis of this list that he and his two accomplices targeted Lalit Maken.
Interestingly senior Congress leader of Delhi Congress and close relative of Lalit Maken, Ajay Maken wrote to chief minister Shiela Dixit to grant him pardon. Lalit Maken's only child Avantika Maken had also been personally pleading his case but to no avail so far.

Suave and articulate Ranjit Singh Gill won over Avantika Maken in just one meeting. Avantika, a Youth Congress leader used to get agitated at even mention of his name declared him to be his friend when she met him personally through Amrita Chaudhry, a senior journalist based in Ludhiana. According to Avantika Maken, her image of a militant that she had before she met Ranjit Singh Gill underwent a total change on talking to him.
Ranjit Singh Gill was a student of Punjab Agricultural University when he went away from home in 1985. He recalls it was on July 9, 1985 that he went away from him when police started putting pressure following a murder of a police officer's son. Just 22 days later Maken was murdered and he was named among the accused. Next year in Februray he went to United States. He was working at a gas station there when a year later on May 14, 1987 he was arrested along with his friend Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi. Extradition proceedings were held against them while they were in jail for thirteen years. On May 5, 2000 they were extradited to India.
Ranjit Singh Gill was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. On Februray 26 last year he was granted 15 days interim bail on account of his mother's illness. His mother, who was suffering from cancer died later. Since then Ranjit Singh's bail is being extended for short periods. And he waits for the pardon committee headed by Delhi chief minister Shiela Dixit to hear his application.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

indian govt should release this guy from home imprison ment he already spent 17 years in jail and from the last 5 yrs he is in homeimprionment thats not good