Three days after the murder of Akansh Sen, Himachal chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife’s nephew, main accused Balraj Singh Randhawa’s family has claimed that an accident has been give political colour. Balraj (31) is still absconding. Questions are being raised on the alleged soft-pedalling by the UT Police with no arrests so far. Accusing the police of harassment, Ajmer Singh, 95, the grandfather of the accused, told HT, “My grandson is innocent. It was an accident that has been converted into murder, as the victim is related to family that is into politics.”
Ajmer, who was all alone in his house in Sector-77, near the accused’s house, is a retired police officer from Punjab. He was attached with the security of former Punjab chief minister Partap Singh Kairon.
“We are not aware of the whereabouts of Balraj and Harmehtab Singh (the second accused in the case), but the police are harassing us for no reason. Even his mother Ramanjit Kaur, who is a cancer patient, and his sister, who had come from Canada to meet her, do not know where is he,” Ajmer said, adding that it was foolish on the part of his grandson to run away from the law.
“I do not know if my grandson was a friend of Harmehtab Singh Farid, but I know their family,” he further said.
Neighbours claim that Randhawa was well-behaved. “We cannot believe that he could have done this. We are shocked at the news,” is the common refrain.
BALRAJ RANDHAWA’S HOUSE LOCKED
Randhawa’s house in Sector 77 was found to be locked. The Hindustan Times team observed policemen in civvies outside, waiting in an unmarked car.
SAW FARID ON THE EVENING OF ACCIDENT
If the police had acted swiftly, they might have been able to nab co-accused Harmehtab Singh Farid on Thursday evening, the day of the incident itself at his farmhouse in Landran in SAS Nagar district.
“I saw Harmehtab Singh Farid on the evening of the incident and after that we do not know, where he is,” says Jasbir Singh, a servant of Farid. He said that none of the servants have seen him since and most of them have left work.
The Chandigarh police have deputed two police personnel outside his five-acre Rarewala Farmhouse in Landran, it has been learnt.
“He was not on good terms with his mother, who lives in Rahera village near Khanna in Ludhiana district and hardly visited the farmhouse,” Jasbir furthersaid.
Another servant Darbara Singh said, “My duty is at the main gate. These days, with police from Punjab and Chandigarh raiding the place, we do not even lock the property.”
Neighbours claim that in spite of being neighbours for several decades, they had not visited the farmhouse as the family remained reserved.
“Late-night parties were common in the farmhouse,” said a neighbour on the condition of anonymity.