The directions were issued on a PIL highlighting lapses in investigation conducted by the Chandigarh police in the infamous Khushpreet abduction and murder case in 2011.
In cases of children going missing, police will have to file a FIR instead of the customary DDR. That is what the Division Bench of the High Court wants. The petitioner had pointed out that the police generally file a DDR in such cases and that does not lead to serious investigation.
As per the directions of the High Court bench, the nodal officer will be an officer of the rank of SP in Chandigarh and an IG in Haryana and Punjab. The SHO concerned will submit a detailed report of the missing child to the nodal officer who will immediately flash a message to all the SHOs in the two states and Chandigarh. Besides flashing the message through the internet, the Bench also wants the CBI to be alerted.
In December 2010, five-year-old Khushpreet was abducted from outside his house in Burail in Sector 45. The police laid a trap and asked his parents to pay ransom. After a tense wait, the child’s body was recovered from Mohali.
Even though the Chandigarh police claimed to have cracked the case with the arrest of the accused, they received flak for the way they handled the case, which is said to have led to the murder of the child.
NGO World Human Rights International had filed a PIL last year alleging police insensitivity in handling the case. The role of police officials, including Burail police post in charge was questioned. The petitioner sought court directions for better coordination between police authorities in Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab.
The petitioner also sought court directions for the formation of a special cell to handle cases of missing children to the two states and Chandigarh. The bench issued these directions while disposing off the PIL.
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