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Shailee Dogra , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, July 12, 2013
Decrying the "callous" probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into his father's death, the son of Sham Fashion Mall owner Amarjit Singh Khurana has urged the CBI special court to order reinvestigation, as the agency has sought closure of the case after failing to crack it even in two years.


In his protest petition against the CBI's November 2012 application for closing the four-year-old case on the grounds that "they (CBI) have not found any clue relating to murder", Gagandeep Khurana has accused the central agency of being "in haste to close the case without carrying out proper investigations". The matter would now come up for hearing on July 26 before the court of chief judicial magistrate.

It was in May 2009 that Amarjit, 51, was shot dead from point-blank range outside his house in Sector 35. The case was first investigated by the UT police but nothing substantial was found, so it was handed over to the CBI on the request of the family to the Punjab and Haryana high court in October 2010.

"We had approached the high court to get the investigations transferred from UT police to CBI, hoping that the premier investigating agency would investigate the matter thoroughly, scientifically and meticulously so that the offenders could be brought to book. But CBI investigated the case in very callous manner," said Gagandeep.
 
He further noted, "The UT police had arrested six persons of a gang of West Bengal in November 2012, and claimed that they had murdered my father and even shown recovery of a motorcycle used in the crime. But the CBI had already prepared the closure report and thus did not take keen interest to interrogate the said persons thoroughly to establish or rule out the involvement of these suspects." He alleged that the CBI, instead of interrogation, opted to remain a "mute spectator".

"We had announced a cash reward of Rs. 20 lakh for clues… in response [we] received a few calls... CBI was informed but CBI officials did not opt to verify the said calls on the pretext that they had already submitted to closure report," claimed Gagandeep, urging the court to reject the report and direct the CBI to reinvestigate.

 

At dead end, CBI blamed UT police

A month after filing its closure report in the murder case of Sector-34 Sham Fashion Mall's owner Amarjit Singh Khurana in November last, the CBI is learnt to have shot off a letter to the UT police pointing towards loss of vital evidence immediately after the murder. This evidence was apparently lost by the UT police, which investigated the case first.

Sources said the CBI letter said that the UT police did not even obtain call records of Amarjit and any suspects, nor the data for the date of crime from the mobile phone towers nearby.

The CBI had also claimed that the mobile phone of the victim had not been handed over to them, even when the phone was taken into possession by the investigating officer of the UT police. CBI had also claimed that the CCTV footage of the cameras installed in Sham Fashion Mall was not collected or taken on record.

Murders unsolved

Neha Ahlawat, Sector 38W: The murder of Sector 38 West resident Neha Ahlawat, 21, has been haunting the police department since May 2010. Cops failed to make headway even after raising reward from Rs. 1 lakh to 5 lakh. UT cops realised how far they were from cracking the case when Gandhinagar-based forensic lab gave the clean chit to five suspects in brain-mapping test.

Sec-42 bank officer's wife: Santosh Kumari, wife of a State Bank of India official was found murdered in government accommodation in the SBI Colony of Sector 42 on August 4, 2009. No headway, though cops had claimed possibility of involvement of an electrician as the victim was electrocuted to death.

Makhan Majra guard: As a recently acquitted two men accused of murdering a 55-year-old security guard at a godown in Makhan Majra village, his murder too remains a mystery. The prosecution had failed to prove an extra-judicail 'confession' or even a motive. He was killed on September 9-10 night in 2011.