Kanwaljit Kaur, Gurpinder and Parminder’s mother, on Sunday said that both her sons were innocent.
Speaking to The Indian Express, she said, “Ashutesh Mahajan, who was an employee of importer-exporter Ajay Gupta, was a friend of Gurpinder. He had asked Gurpinder to facilitate the salt consignment of Tarik Lone.”
Ajay Gupta and Ashutesh Mahajan were booked along with Gurpinder, Parminder and 20 other persons in a separate case registered by Amritsar rural police at the Gharinda police station.
“It was not first the salt consignment of Tarik Lone that Gurpinder was supposed to receive. Tarik had attempted to import a consignment earlier too, but that time, an exporter in Pakistan had sent the consignment in the name of Ajay Gupta. So technically, it was the first time that Gurpinder was receiving a consignment of Tarik Lone on July 29 at the Attari-Wagah Border,” claimed Kanwaljit.
She went on to say, “Gurpinder went to free the consignment as customs officials called him. He paid around Rs 4 lakh as duty to free the consignment, but later customs arrested him. Tarik Lone had not a paid a single penny to Gurpinder in advance as he had said that he would pay the amount later. Gurpinder had nothing to hide and he narrated how the salt deal was made to customs officials.”
Speaking about Parminder, she said, “Parminder works at a garments shop with a Rs 6,000 salary. He had also applied for a job on compensation grounds in the customs department as his father was a customs hawaldar and had died during service. But the customs department was not responding to his request, so he was doing odd jobs in the meantime. He was not involved in the import export business. The clothes market remains closed every Monday and it was some Monday that Gurpinder asked Parminder to go to Batala and facilitate transfer of money into Tarik Lone’s account.”
“Lone was Gurpinder’s new client and he had requested Gurpinder to facilitate the transfer of some money into his account. Parminder went to Batala and Tarik Lone sent some person to him there at said place in Batala, who brought Rs 10.5 lakh. Lone asked Parminder to deposit this money into three accounts. There is a J&K bank in Batala and but the bank manager refused to allow the transaction. Parminder again made a call to Tarik Lone and then Lone directly spoke with the bank manager, who then allowed the transactions. An amount of Rs 5 lakh was deposited in a two accounts each and Rs 50,000 was deposited in the third account.”
“There were media articles that this money was transferred into Parminder’s account, which is false,” she added.
“Gurpinder and Parminder were facilitating Tarik Lone in good faith…We don’t know if Tarik Lone has taken advantage of this, but Gurpinder didn’t hide anything from customs and police. Parminder was not even involved. He has been arrested just because he did what Tarik Lone told him to do” said Kanwaljit.
“If Gurpinder was involved in this drug racket, money should have been transferred into his account. But here Parminder was depositing the amount into the account of Lone and all conversation with Lone was through mobile, it is all on record. Our story can easily be cross-checked but this slow investigation and false implication have snatched my son from us. I request police and customs to prove fairly and at least release Parminder now. He is innocent like Gurpinder,” she claimed.
Amritsar Rural SSP Vikramjeet Duggal said police had not recovered any hawala money from Gurpinder or Parminder.
“The case is still under investigation. Why Tarik Lone would ask Gurpinder to send someone to Batala and take money from his man there to deposit in a bank account is a big question. If Lone had his man in Batala, they could have directly deposited the money into Lone’s account. Why did Gurpinder need to send Parminder there? Parminder’s role is very fishy. There was a hawala transaction for sure but we have not recovered any money so far,” he added.