Kinjal Singh–an IAS officer’s struggle for justice
Kinjal Singh is a 2007 batch IAS Officer who is currently posted in the Uttar Pradesh cadre. She is not an ordinary IAS officer, her struggle for becoming an IAS officer was coupled with a definite purpose to get justice for her family. Some might also call her an IAS with a purpose.
In the article below, we have tried to share her heart-warming success story of becoming an IAS officer professionally meanwhile overcoming the loss of her father in an unjust way.
Fake Encounters are a living ground reality of our defence system and judicial cases related to such encounters often put the whole judicial system into question.
The decisive landmark judgement on one such case of the fake encounter, which took place long back in the Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh, was announced recently. In the delayed judgement, the convicts were punished bringing the much-awaited justice for a wounded family of a former DSP S P Singh.
Who is Kinjal Singh?
Kinjal Singh cleared the UPSC examination in 2007 and secured an impressive 25th rank in the exam. She is the daughter of the late DSP S. P. Singh, who was murdered by his own subordinates in a fake encounter 35 years ago in the Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh.
After the death of S P Singh, his wife was granted the job in a Varanasi treasury and from their begun her hard life journey of struggle to get justice for her late husband. The two daughters Kinjal and Pranjal Singh also made a quick transition in life and worked hard to get to the top of their career. Inspired by their mother to be a strong, independent woman in life, both of them were able to crack the toughest exam (IAS Exam) in the country in the year 2007.
One of the main driving forces for excellence for Kinjal Singh to become an IAS officer was to get justice for her father and to see the murderers of his father behind bars. Presently, Kinjal Singh is dedicated and honest IAS officer and her outlook towards the civil services, despite all the obstacles that life has thrown at her is truly an inspiration. Her sister Pranjal Singh also cracked the UPSC exam in 20017 and joined the Indian Revenue Service (IRS).
Kinjal Singh's determination was so strong that it shook the entire justice system and in 2013, after 31 years of their struggle, the CBI special court in Lucknow penalised all the 18 accuse behind her father DSP Singh's murder.
She was barely months old when her father was murdered, but her mother Vibha continued her struggle for justice despite all odds till she succumbed to cancer in 2004.
About Fake Encounters in the country:
According to the NHRC data, more than 100 encounters per year take place in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh itself. With these terrifying statistics, the recent judgement on the controversial Gonda encounter case has come as a relief respite even more so for the families for the fight for justice for almost 3 decades now.
Encounter killing is basically used to describe the killings by the armed forces, allegedly in self-defence but the word is often misinterpreted.
About Gonda Encounter of 1982:
An alleged group clash had occurred on the night of 12 March 1982 in Madhavpur village located within the in Gonda district. DSP K P Singh, on getting the information about the criminals went to the village to the police. KP Singh was later taken to the hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. Moreover, the 12 other people who died were also declared dacoits by R B Saroj and his partners.
The police later submitted a report saying the DSP was killed by dacoits in a bomb attack and the policemen killed the dacoits in an encounter. But the real reason alleged to be different and is said to be the enmity between the Deputy Superintendent of police, K P Singh, and his subordinates, whom he suspected of having close co-operation with the local criminals.
Vibha Singh approached the High Court and a CBI investigation was ordered on Supreme Court’s intervention. The CBI registered a FIR on accusing the cops of killing the DSP and villagers in a fake encounter.
The case and the outcome saw a very slow process of the Indian judicial system since it took 31 years after the murder and 27 years after the charge sheet to deliver the first verdict. The CBI judge stated that the case is also marked for holding the total of eight policemen guilty. The deceased DSP’s daughter Kinjal Singh, who is an IAS officer and district magistrate of Lakhimpur Kheri district broke down during the judgement and recalled her father as honest and her mother’s consistent fight against the accused.
Whether it is the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, the encounter cases during the 1984 riots or the fake encounter cases not registered due to the AFSPA act the list is endless and horrifying. According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India, there were many cases of alleged fake encounters and the state with the highest number of cases is Uttar Pradesh.
But the recent justice in the DSP fake encounter case is a welcome step towards making our country embedded with the universal human rights principles. Moreover, this is also a heartfelt example of a wounded daughter (Kinjal Singh, IAS) who joined the same civil services to serve the country rightfully even when she knew that it was the same civil services that had wrongly taken her father’s life in service.