Head constable Kulwinder Singh
A PUNJAB Police head constable allegedly opened fire in his in-laws home at a village in Dharamkot, Moga, with his service weapon early Sunday, leaving his wife and three members of her family dead. His 10-year-old niece was also injured in the firing.
The incident took place in Said Jalalpur village at around 6.30 am. Moga police said that head constable Kulwinder Singh, who was posted with the tear gas unit at Moga Police Lines, “lied” to get an AK-47 rifle issued from the armoury early Sunday, claiming he had been put on duty with the anti-drug Special Task Force (STF) and needed the weapon for a raid.
He then reached his in-laws’ home in the village, where his wife Rajwinder Kaur and son Manpreet Singh were present, and began shooting incessantly. Rajwinder (45), his mother-in-law Sukhwinder Kaur (65), brother-in-law Jaskaran Singh (38) and sister-in-law Inderjit Kaur (33) died on the spot. He then also allegedly opened fire at his niece Jashanpreet Kaur (10), who was rushed to Moga Civil Hospital.
Kulwinder’s father-in-law Bohar Singh (70), brother-in-law Harjinder Singh and his family managed to escape the attack. Later, the constable surrendered before police and said during interrogation that a monetary dispute over a pig farm that he had invested in along with his in-laws was the reason why he killed them all.
A senior Moga police officer told The Indian Express that on Saturday evening, Kulwinder had reached his in-laws’ home drunk. He had threatened to set himself and others on fire, following which his wife had called the police and asked them to arrest him. “Some police officer from Dharamkot police station reached the spot and took him along. However, he later said it was his family’s personal matter and he would sort it out by Sunday morning. He was then let off. At around 5 am Sunday, he reached the armoury at Police Lines and got the weapon issued saying he needed it for a raid. But he went to his in-laws’ home with the weapon instead,” said the officer.
Dharamkot DSP Yadwinder Singh however said that police had let Kulwinder off Saturday night after receiving a phone call from his brother-in-law Harjinder. “We had let him off Saturday night after Harjinder Singh called Dharamkot police station and said it was their personal matter and they do not want any action against him. He said they will sort it out in the morning,” the DSP told The Indian Express.
Moga SP (Investigation) Harinderpal Singh Parmar, told The Indian Express, “Kulwinder had invested Rs 20-25 lakh in a pig farm at his in-laws’ village. He had invested in purchasing land for the arm which his son Manpreet and his brothers-in-law were operating. Recently they sold some pigs and did not keep Kulwinder in the loop. He was asking for a share of his profit, due to which they had heated arguments on Saturday too, following which his wife informed police. He was heavily drunk on Saturday and told police he will sort his family matter by Sunday morning.”
Kulwinder, who had surrendered hours after the incident, was arrested under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 452 (house-trespass after the preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful constraint) of IPC and sections 25/27 of the Arms Act at Dharamkot police station, on the basis of his father-in-law Bohar Singh’s statement. “Departmental action will also be initiated against him,” said Moga SP Parmar.