India: Uttarakhand High Court Request CBI Investigation Into Case Of Missing Sikh Pilgrims

NAINITAL: The High Court of Uttarakhand has ordered a CBI probe into the sudden disappearance of eight Sikh pilgrims travelling from Punjab to Sri Hemkunt Sahib in 2017. The court has expressed dissatisfaction over the investigation in this case and the DGP has ordered to take departmental action against the investigating officer.

A bench of Justice Lokpal Singh heard the case where Punjab resident Lakhwinder Kaur and others filed a petition in the High Court saying that the eight Sikhs traveled from Punjab on a pilgrimage to Sri Hemkunt Sahib located in Chamoli district on July 8, 2017 in Uttarakhand.

The group of eight consisted of six Sikhs based in India and another two Sikhs who US citizens. The US citizens were Harkanwal Singh and Premjit Singh whereas the six Indian nationals were Kirpal Singh, Jasbir Singh, Harpal Singh, Varinder Singh, Kulbir Singh and driver Manga Singh.The driver informed the pilgrims families that they had reached Govind Ghat on July 5, 2017. This was the last communication from the with missing persons.

A missing persons case was lodged in Govind Ghat police post however the police failed to take concrete initiatives to locate the pilgrims. It was also stated in the petition that the relatives of two pilgrims from the US had also traveled to India to seek information from the Govind Ghat police. The police had failed to provide details regarding the case.
In light of the circumstances, a CBI inquiry has been sought. During the hearing, the investigating officer in the court was unable to provide a satisfactory response. As a result, the bench ordered the CBI inquiry into the matter. Along with this, the DGP has ordered the departmental proceedings against the investigating officer.
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