Two days after the body of a Sikh priest (gurdwara granthi) from Jagraon was recovered from a pit near a cow shelter (gaushala) in Sanghera of Barnala, the police Wednesday arrested fourth accused, Harnek Singh, who allegedly provided his licensed revolver to main accused Bhola Singh for executing the murder.
Police also claimed recovery of a syringe which the accused allegedly used to inject pesticide in his veins before shooting him in head with .32 bore revolver.
Baba Ajaib Singh (55), one of the senior sewadars at Gurudwara Tahli Sahib in village Rattan of Jagraon, had left in his Innova SUV on December 4. Daya Singh (one of the three accused now arrested for murder) was allegedly driving the vehicle.
He is alleged to have especially come from Barnala to escort him. For next three days, Ajaib Singh did not return to Jagraon and missing complaint was filed with police. On December 10, police recovered his body dumped in a ten-ft deep pit behind a gaushala in Sanghera of district Barnala. Police arrested cow shelter caretaker Bhola Singh, his brother Balbir Singh and Daya Singh.
After dumping body in pit, the accused allegedly planted saplings over it and told locals that area was dug up for plantation drive.
Ludhiana Rural’s DSP (Investigation), Amandeep Singh, said that fourth accused Harnek Singh, also from Sanghera of Barnala, allegedly gave his revolver to Bhola Singh which was used in murder. He added that Ajaib Singh had recently returned from Canada and the accused suspected that he must be in possession of cash which they wanted to extort in name of donations for cow shelter.
They sent Daya Singh to accompany Ajaib Singh to Barnala. But on night of December 4, when Ajaib Singh refused to donate any funds for cow shelter, they held him hostage, tied him to a chair and injected pesticides in his veins. Then they shot him in head, dug a pit to dump body and planted saplings over it.
DSP added that the weapon, five cartridges, pesticide and syringe used in the crime have been recovered. All four accused have been booked for kidnapping and murder at Jodhan police station.