WITH NO leads in the case over five months after Namdhari sect matriarch Chand Kaur, in her eighties, was shot dead by two accused on bike on April 4 at Bhaini Sahib dera headquarters in Ludhiana, the Punjab government has recommended that the probe be transferred to the Central Beureau of Investigation (CBI).
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dhruman Nimbale, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Ludhiana, accepted that “even as the Ludhiana police put in all resources and gave 100 percent to solve the case, the dots never connected and they failed to identify the culprits.’
“We spent over nine hours a day investigating this particular case. There was no lack of effort on our side. But the dots never connected as it was a deep-rooted conspiracy. It is unfortunate that the Punjab police wasn’t able to crack it,” said the DCP.
Over the past five months, the details of over 500 mobile phone numbers were checked and similarly footage of some 150 CCTV cameras installed in dera’s vicinity was checked.
“We interrogated 90-00 people. Every single CCTV camera from dera to various routes towards Chandigarh, Bathinda, Delhi etc was checked but nothing concrete came out,” said an officer, who was part of the probe.
The murder of matriarch Chand Kaur soon turned into one of the most high profile cases of the country. Two heirs- Thakur Dalip Singh and Thakur Uday Singh (the current Satguru) – are locked in a tussle since the demise of Satguru Jagjit Singh and wealth and property worth crores in Punjab and Haryana is at stake.
Both brothers have accused each other of being behind the conspiracy. Politically, too Namdharis wield strong clout in state and influence over six lakh voters. Uday Singh has, announced support for SAD-BJP in the previous two Assembly polls, for 2017 he is yet to make any announcement in this regard and for this reason too, the move of SAD-BJP to transfer the probe to CBI has come as no surprise as it was demand of Uday Singh and his followers to let CBI handle the case.
“We even probed the links of Sukhdev Namdhari, lodged in Tihar Jail for the Ponty Chadha shootout case but nothing came out. CBI has the expertise to reach where we can’t. We had all technical proof but somehow we were unable to identify the persons,” said DCP.
Meanwhile, both factions of Uday Singh and Dalip Singh – the nephews of Satguru Jagjit Singh- have welcomed the recommendation of a CBI probe. “We always wanted an external agency to probe the case,” said Navtej Singh, spokesperson of Dalip Singh.
Lakhvir Singh, spokesperson of Uday Singh, also said “Dera headquarters has welcomed the move.”
The Punjab government, through its notification issued from Chandigarh, has recommended a CBI enquiry in Chand Kaur murder case. Along with this, the probe in Avtar Singh Tari murder case (follower of Uday Singh shot dead in 2011) and Jalandhar tiffin blast case (linked to Namdharis) has also been recommended for CBI probe.