Jalandhar car bomb blast accused Hardeep Singh Bajwa (55) is an innocent ardent follower of Thakur Dalip Singh, spiritual head of the Sirsa faction of Namdhari Sikhs, his family has claimed.
Reached on Sunday here, the family described him as an emotional man whom sect follower Jagmohan Singh (45) had conned into receiving two tiffin boxes at the Kartarpur bus stand, saying he would collect those on his return from Amritsar. “In good faith, my brother kept those boxes at his shop. We got to know only when police came looking for the tiffin bombs,” Hardeep’s younger brother, Gurmukh Singh (48) told HT.
Claiming that his brother was innocent, Gurmukh Singh added that he had no idea the boxes were explosive (as police claimed) until the December 6 blast that injured Jagmohan Singh and killed cloth merchant Ajay Kumar. “When he heard it on news, he threw the boxes into a pond out of panic. Jagmohan Singh is accused of many crimes, including murder, but my brother is a man of clean image and respect in the locality,” he said.
The family has said that Hardeep Singh used to visit Namdhari Darbar at Bhaini Sahib in Ludhiana district until a few years ago. In December 2012, after the death of Namdhari leader Satguru Jagjit Singh, the sect’s leadership passed on to his nephew Thakur Udai Singh. In a war of succession, his brother, Thakur Udai Singh, took over at Bhaini Sahib, while Thakur Dalip Singh moved to Haryana’s Sirsa district. “Hardeep then started visiting the Sirsa sect,” said his brother.
Pointing to the shop’s wall covered with the clippings of Hardeep’s published Punjabi poems, his nephew, Kesar, said that his uncle was also writing the biography of his grandfather, and had written many other poems in another diary. At Akhara Market in this small town of Kapurthala district, Hardeep’s fellow shopkeepers are shocked to imagine he could be involved in crime.
Hardeep Singh lives in a joint family with his wife, Khushwant Kaur, two sons, and two brothers, running Bajwa Agriculture Store for the past three decades and helping his elder brother, Kuldeep Singh, in farming.
On December 6, at Dugri village, 20 kilometres from Jalandhar, a bomb explosion inside a Maruti Swift Dzire car killed Ajay Kumar and injured Jagmohan Singh, who faces three cases of murder and another of drug trade.
Police produced Hardeep Singh in court on Monday and secured his custody for two days. They said they would go after two Sirsa-based men after getting details from him. Jagmohan Singh were remanded in judicial custody last week.