MYSTERY CONTINUES to surround the case of the alleged murder of 54-year-old NRI hotelier Ranjit Singh Powar in Jalandhar in May last year.
In a major goof-up, the body of a man, wrongly believed to be that of Powar, was flown to the UK from India last June. However, the DNA test conducted in UK confirmed that the body was not that of Powar.
The body was Tuesday handed over to the UK social services for last rites.
The development has now prompted the family of Sukhdev Singh — who is in jail since June last year on charges of the murder — to claim that Sukhdev has been framed in the case. Sukhdev was driving the taxi in which Powar was travelling in Jalandhar.
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Powar had arrived in Jalandhar on May 8, 2015 and went missing the same day. A few days later, the Punjab Police claimed that Powar had been murdered and his body thrown into Bhakra canal. Powar’s NRI friend Baldev Singh Deol and Sukhdev Singh, resident of Manakpur village in Jalandhar, who was driving booked on charges of his murder. While Deol was declared proclaimed offender, Sukhdev was arrested.
In October last year, Punjab Police had collected blood samples of Powar’s mother to match it with the DNA samples taken from the body that they believed to be of Powar.
“When Powar’s family has disclosed that the body is not his, then on what basis is my husband lodged in jail by Jalandhar police,” questioned Jasbir Kaur, Sukhdev Singh’s wife.
Sukhdev’s mother Darshan Kaur said: “Sukhdev had a taxi business and was the only earning member in our family. His father died 16 years ago. His grandmother is more than 100 years old. I also have problems in walking. His wife and two children are also living with us. My son has been wrongly implicated in this case.”
“We are forced to live a miserable life. We are now totally dependent on the mercy of our relatives,” added an inconsolable Darshan Kaur.
“Police should have concentrated on locating missing Powar rather than jumping to a conclusion that he was murdered. Sukhdev was only booked on charges of murder because he drove Ranjit Singh and his another NRI friend Baldev Singh Deol in his taxi to Punjab,” said Jasbir Kaur. Punjab Police, however, stick to their stand.
“Sukhdev is Baldev Singh Deol’s nephew. Both hatched a conspiracy and killed Powar by strangulating him and then threw his body into the Bhakra Canal. Deol had a financial dispute with Powar and he used Sukhdev to eliminate him,” one of the senior punjab police officers said.
ADCP-2, Amrik Singh Puar, said, “We have already sent the blood samples of Powar’s mother to the forensic laboratory in Mohali in October last year. The report is expected this month-end.