July 11, 2021 11:22:37 pm
An inspector of Ludhiana city police, his BJP councillor father and ten others were booked on Sunday for allegedly abetting the suicide of a 44-year old woman, who left behind a note alleging harassment by the policeman and the others in a property dispute case.
Police said that Pooja, a 44-year woman from Chhawni Mohalla of Ludhiana, allegedly died by suicide. She had allegedly consumed poison on July 2 and succumbed on July 8 while undergoing treatment at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).
Police further added that a suicide note was recovered, in which the woman had named 12 people, alleging harassment and claimed that the accused had usurped her property by getting signatures of her illiterate mother.
Police have now registered an FIR against inspector Bittan Kumar (currently posted at Ludhiana police lines), his father Surinder Atwal (BJP councillor), the inspector’s two brothers — Pawan Atwal and Sajan Atwal, property dealers Jaspal Singh and Gurcharan Singh, Gurcharan’s son-in-law Ravinder Singh, the woman’s step brother-in-law Balbir Singh, her three stepsisters — Manjeet Kaur, Kuljinder Kaur and Ravinder Kaur— and one Pardeep Kumar, under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of IPC at division number 4 police station.
ASI Janak Raj, investigating officer in the case, said that as per a statement recorded by Navdeep Sethi, whom the victim used to call her ‘brother’, the accused named in the suicide note ‘harassed’ the woman, forced her illiterate mother to sign the papers of two properties and fraudulently got some parts of the property transferred in the name of Ravinder Singh, son-in-law of property dealer Jaspal Singh, and Pardeep Kumar, a relative of inspector Bittan Kumar.
Further, it has been alleged by the woman’s family that the accused were now forcing her to vacate the properties, due to which she was in tension that may have prompted the 44-year-old woman to take the extreme step of consuming poison on July 2. Police said that till July 6, the victim who was admitted at DMCH for treatment, and was ‘medically unfit’ to record her statement. After her death on July 8, an FIR was registered on the basis of her purported suicide note in which she has alleged harassment by the inspector and others.
ASI Janak Raj said that the family was yet to produce the ‘original’ copy of the suicide note and the role of inspector Bittan Kumar was being investigated. “The family has produced a copy of the suicide note on the basis of which we registered the FIR. But they are yet to get the original copy of the note. Also, the note was written on June 18, as earlier also the woman had attempted to kill herself twice, but was saved. As per preliminary probe, the property dispute was ongoing since 2013 when her mother had sold some property to Bittan Kumar’s relatives. We are probing all the allegations made in suicide note,” said the ASI.
In August 2020, inspector Bittan Kumar had been involved in a brawl, after he had objected to the noise of JCB machine in his area following which he was ttacked by some men. An FIR was registered against the men for an attempt to murder at division number 4 police station. Three months later in November 2020, a cross-FIR was registered against the inspector and his brother Sajan Atwal for alleged assault, after the suspects in the case moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
In October 2019, Sajan Atwal had been booked for alleged extortion and snatching in an FIR registered at Dugri police station.
Inspector Bittan Kumar, who was then the SHO Dugri, was transferred to the Police Lines after the incident.
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