Akali leader’s driver booked for Patiala double murder

  • Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Apr 25, 2015 09:37 IST

Claiming to have solved the double murder of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) women’s wing district president Jaspal Kaur Dharni and her son Ajit Singh, the police on Friday booked the SAD leader’s part-time driver for murder.

The police said the driver, identified as Bakhtawar Singh, alias Bhura, a resident of Seouna near Patiala, killed Dharni for her Innova SUV and later her son as he got suspicious about Bhura’s activities. While Dharni was done to death on April 9, her son was killed the next day. The decomposed body Ajit was found from his residence in Old Bishan Nagar on April 21, while the police recovered Dharni’s body from the Bhakra mainline the same day.

However, in a clear case of “sloppy” investigation, the chinks in the police theory were evident as it failed to elaborate
the motive behind the crime. The police theory has left several question unanswered, raising eyebrows over its investigation in the past three days.

Bhura was nabbed by the police on April 22 and he confessed to the crime soon after his arrest.

The police on Friday ruled out the involvement of any family member in the crime after registering a case of kidnapping and
murder against Bhura. The police have also urged the court to extend his remand for interrogation. Though the police claimed that Bhura committed the crime due to poverty, he did not take away gold jewellery worn by Dharni which was worth Rs 1.5 lakh. He did not even touch any article at her house after killing her son The police failed to clear why Dharni went to a secluded place with the driver and how he managed to kill Ajit as there were no signs in the house to establish that Dharni’s son tried to save himself from the attack.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurmeet Singh Chauhan said after the recovery of the bodies on April 21, the police came to know that Dharni’s vehicle was also missing, following which the police detained Bhura for questioning.

He said though Dharni’s vehicle was usually driven by her son, Bhura was called a couple of times to accompany Dharni during canvassing for the Dhuri byelections. “Bhura drove Dharni to Dhuri on April 9. On their return, the accused allegedly took Dharni to a secluded place and strangled her with a crepe bandage and threw her body into the Bhakra canal near Sidhuwal around 9:30pm,” said the SSP. He added that the accused confessed that his motive that a person known to the SAD leader had recorded his conversation with the accused in his mobile phone when he was attacking Ajit, why that person did not file a missing report with the police The police and the postmortem experts did not find any strangulation or injury marks on the bodies Dharni was aggressively campaigning in the Dhuri byelections, but on SAD member come forward to file a missing complaint was to keep Dharni’s vehicle. He also fixed a fake registration number plate (HR-32H-7800) on the vehicle after eliminating the SAD leader.

When Dharni didn’t reach home, her son Ajit started calling on her mobile phones which were with Bhura, said the SSP, adding that: “The accused started concocting stories and told Ajit that his mother had gone to see a relative of one of her friends in a local hospital.”

Irritated by frequent calls, Bhura went to Dharni’s residence to eliminate him, said the SSP, adding that Bhura entered the house and attacked Ajit with a wooden stick on the head before strangling him to death.

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