In a major headway in the murder case of a ‘pundit’ (priest) here, Tarn Taran police succeeded in arresting the accused on Saturday.
The accused has been identified as Gurvel Singh, a resident of Rashiana village. The arrest was made on Saturday in connection with the murder of pundit Inder Lal on Thursday.
Lal, a resident of Amritsar, ran his business from a shop in Tarn Taran. He reportedly went to Fatehabad village to hold a ‘hawan’ (Hindu religious ceremony) on Wednesday morning (January 13) but did not return home. Later, he was found murdered with severed head at Allowal village on Thursday. His family members recognised him by seeing the words written on his arm.
In a press conference held here on Saturday, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manmohan Sharma said many questions arose as the body of the deceased was found with severed head. Special police teams were constituted under the supervision of superintendent of police (investigation) Jagmohan Singh, Sharma added.
He said police scanned and interrogated people connected with the deceased and Gurvel Singh came to fore as the prime suspect during the investigation. “Gurvel confessed his crime when police interrogated him”, Sharma added.
In his confession to police, Gurvel Singh said, “I was a client of pundit Inder Lal and was in contact with him for the last 6-7 years. As I am suffering from a serious disease, I used to meet Lal frequently for treatment of the disease with ‘kala elam’ (black magic), in which he was an expert. I used to pay him whatever fee he charged. I remained normal for a few days during the treatment and then fell ill again.”
“Gradually, he started exploiting me by demanding more money in the name of treating the disease. I started doubting Lal’s intentions and thought that he himself provoked the disease and then took a lot of money for its treatment. I was financially as well as physically beleaguered and got fed up with his attitude”, Gurvel told police.
He further said in his confession, “On January 13, Lal demanded `5,000 fee on phone which angered me so much that I decided to kill him. We chose Fatehabad village as venue of our meeting on the next day. I reached there on time and asked him to get inside my car so that he could recite mantars of ‘kala elam’. As soon as he started reciting the mantars, I attacked him with a sharp-edged weapon and he died on the spot.”
Gurvel further said he covered Lal’s body with a cloth and took it to a lonely place near Allowal village. “So that no one recognised the body, I severed the head, put the body in a sack and threw it in an irrigation drain. I hid the severed head under a bridge at around 8.30pm”, he said during the interrogation.
SP (investigation) Jagmohan Singh said police were investigating the matter further and trying to identify the reasons behind the crime.
People had also expressed their anger against the police for not nabbing the accused by staging a dharna outside the SSP’s office on Friday