Claiming to have arrested one more accused in the Ajnala murder case, the Amritsar (rural) police said on Wednesday that a detailed inquiry was on to find out the exact role of Akali sarpanch Amarjit Singh in the incident.
Amritsar (rural) SSP PS Virk said at a press conference that the preliminary inquiry conducted by the police suggested that the sarpanch was not involved in the case, but further investigations were on.
The Nangli Wanjha Wala sarpanch, along with 10 others, has been booked for allegedly abducting and murdering a youth from the same village, Gurpreet Singh Gopi, on Saturday night.
The SSP said that of the 11 accused, including the sarpanch, two, including Sarwan Singh and Amritpal Singh, had been arrested.
"We have conducted a preliminary probe and found that the sarpanch had no role in the murder. But since the sarpanch's name is in the FIR, we are investigating the matter in detail. If his role is established, we will definitely take action," said Virk, adding that efforts were on to trace the absconding sarpanch and the other accused.
The SSP said he did not know which party the sarpanch was affiliated to. "It does not matter to us. Our only concern is that his name is in the FIR," he said.
Virk pointed out that it had not been established so far that Gopi had been kidnapped.
"As per our information, Gopi had illicit relations with a woman in Pargat Singh's house. He was caught with the woman in the house and given a thrashing. We have come to know that out of the 11 persons named in the FIR, only four were present at that time and that Gopi's family members named the sarpanch in the FIR because they had certain differences with him," said the SSP.
However, Gopi's family claimed that he was first abducted and then brutally tortured, leading to his death. Gopi's mother Sukhraj Kaur said the sarpanch was among the accused.
Police under political pressure: Chawla
AMRITSAR: Former health minister and senior BJP leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla, who visited the house of Gopi on Wednesday, said, "This is a serious incident and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal must visit Ajnala."
The former minister alleged that the Amritsar (rural) police were not taking action against the sarpanch under political pressure. "The CM must ask the police to conduct a fair probe and not shield anyone," she said.
The SSP, however, claimed that there was no political pressure on the police.