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No headway as cops fail to extract eyewitness account

A day after the shootout in Zirakpur,no headway was made in case with the police failing to extract the eyewitness account of how Mahaveer Singla was shot dead and robbed of Rs 5 lakh in the densely inhabited Kalgidhar Enclave at Baltana.

A day after the shootout in Zirakpur,no headway was made in case with the police failing to extract the eyewitness account of how Mahaveer Singla was shot dead and robbed of Rs 5 lakh in the densely inhabited Kalgidhar Enclave at Baltana. The victim was the accountant-cum-cashier of a joint syndicate office of 12 liquor contractors of Zirakpur.

The black Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle,which the police said was used in the crime and claimed to have recovered,was lying dumped under a thick layer of dust in the Zirakpur police station,raising doubts over its running condition.

What added suspicion to police claim was the fact that Badal Colony,from where the bike recovery was claimed,was located close to the Zirakpur police station on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway,while the incident took place on the link road connecting Baltana with the Panchkula-Zirakpur road.

Even as Ropar Range Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Gurpreet Deo and Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar spent ample time at the spot on Tuesday,they could neither reconstruct the scene of crime nor prepare sketches of the suspects in the absence of an exact eyewitness account.

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With no eyewitness coming forward,the police had to lodge the FIR on the statement of Singla’s employer and liquor contractor,Harpal Singh of Sector 50-C,Chandigarh. The district police later issued a appeal to the public to call up Dera Bassi DSP or the Zirakpur SHO on their numbers 95929-16010 and 95929-16026,respectively,in case they have any information related to the crime .

Later in the evening,high drama prevailed at Simran Apartments of Ekta Vihar Colony in Baltana when the district police reached there around 7 pm to nab three “suspects”. Hundreds of policemen,under supervision of SP (Detective) Mohali Preetam Singh,DSP (D),Dera Bassi J S Khaira and Zirakpur SHO Yogi Raj,surrounded the House No. 24 after they got a tip-off that the three assailants were holed up there.

The police kept asking the “suspects” to come out of the house,but nobody did. At 7.30 pm,the police contacted the district magistrate and got Naib Tehsildar Varinder Dhoot appointed as duty magistrate,who reached the spot around 8 pm and again made announcements,calling the suspects out of the house. Around 8.50 pm,he announced that the police would start firing if nobody came out in 10 minutes and started the countdown.

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With two minutes left,three men came out of the house who were taken into custody. During interrogation,the three — Kaushal Sharma,Vikram Kumar and Rajinder Kumar,all residents of Jammu — told the police that they were innocent and worked as rice traders.

Though the police found a large number of rice bags stored in the house,the SHO questioned why the three did not open the door earlier if they were innocent. He said detailed investigations into the matter were on.

First published on: 05-01-2011 at 04:06 IST
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