Abduction case: 102-yr-old key witness dies after 23-year fight for justice

In her last days, she only sought an “update” on the case and demanded “justice”, family members said. The family is originally from Ludhiana; Kaur was in Delhi at the time of her death.

Written by Abhishek Angad | New Delhi | Published: December 13, 2017 1:32 am
102-yr-old key witness dies after 23-year fight for justice In 1994, Kaur’s son Vinod Kumar, son-in-law Ashok Kumar and their driver Mukhtiar Singh were abducted, allegedly with the involvement of Saini, who was then the SSP of Ludhiana. (Photo for representation purpose)

NEARLY 23 years after she began a legal battle to get justice for her son and son-in-law — who were kidnapped in Ludhiana, and the family believes subsequently murdered, although the bodies have not been found till date —102-year-old Amar Kaur, a prime witness in the case, died on Tuesday.

In her last days, she only sought an “update” on the case and demanded “justice”, family members said. The family is originally from Ludhiana; Kaur was in Delhi at the time of her death.

Former Punjab DGP Sumedh Saini and three other police personnel are accused in the case, being heard in Delhi.

Her son Ashish Kumar said, “She fought a legal battle since 1994. Whenever she spoke, she talked only about insaaf (justice). She was very disappointed that she could not see the accused get convicted and go behind the bars.”

He added that the progress in the case has been “disappointingly” slow, and that he is “scared”.

In 1994, Kaur’s son Vinod Kumar, son-in-law Ashok Kumar and their driver Mukhtiar Singh were abducted, allegedly with the involvement of Saini, who was then the SSP of Ludhiana. The case was investigated by the CBI and it was alleged that the three were abducted and illegally detained on Saini’s direction.

It was also alleged that Saini had them abducted to settle a personal score against the owners of a Ludhiana-based automobile shop, Saini Motors, where Vinod and Ashok were the main financiers. The family alleges that Saini and the three other accused — all policemen —had murdered them.

With the family claiming that the accused could influence witnesses in Punjab, the Supreme Court later transferred the case to Delhi.

The family’s lawyer, Shelly Sharma, said that in 2008 Kaur had reached Tis Hazari Courts in an ambulance to depose in the case. Sharma said Kaur was not audible and the judge came down from the dais to hear her.

Sharma recalled, “In court, she (Kaur) once said that she will not die before sending the accused to jail…She struggled a lot (for justice).”

Sharma said the CBI had filed the chargesheet in 2000 and the court framed charges in 2007 —under charges of abduction, wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy. Special Judge Anu Bajaj Chandana is at present hearing the case. “As of now, recording of statements of witnesses is undergoing. A judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court is also a witness,” the lawyer said.

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