Kalyan Singh, general secretary of Youth Akali Dal Malwa Zone-1, and his cousin Gurpreet Singh, accused of kidnapping a man, were sent to one-day police remand on Friday by a local court. Kalyan Singh is the son of SGPC member Sukchain Singh Dharampura, considered close to the Badals. He is accused of keeping Chiman Lal Bansal, 55, in a 35-feet deep bunker in “deserted” Baba Sukchain Singh B.Ed college, belonging to his family in Dharampura village of Mansa.
They were arrested on Thursday. On Friday, the accused were brought before a local court where the police demanded a 10-day custody but received just one. SSP Mansa Mukhwinder Singh said, “A trader named Chiman Lal was kidnapped on his way from Bareta Mandi to Budhalada on August 4 and the family had received a ransom call for Rs 1 crore a day later.”
According to police, Chiman Lal was blindfolded and the accused may have assumed he had not recognised them. They let him off after receiving the ransom money. Chiman Lal is learnt to have told police that he could hear the sound of a passing train and prayers from a gurdwara. He also told the police that it took the kidnappers about 25 minutes to take him to the spot from the Bareta- Budhalada road from where he was kidnapped.
Police said they used these clues to zero-in on the college, which they claimed was “deserted”. DSP Budhlada said,”Kalyan Singh had made a bunker that was about 10 feed in length and width and 35 feet deep. We believe that was where Bansal was held. “
“We started following the case once Bansal was released and cracked it on October 20 when we arrested Kalyan and his cousin on the road leading to Todarpur village,” Lakhbir Singh Tiwana DSP Budhlada. Police also recovered Indian and foreign currency worth over Rs 50 lakh, a 0.22 bore pistol and 7 live cartridges from them.
Kalyan Singh had four cases already against him, out of which there are under the Arms Act and one with charges of “assembled for the purpose of dacoity” in Dhuri. Sukhchain, meanwhile, has denied any connection with the case. He maintained that law should take its own course.