“Harassed” by police in the hunt for murder-accused gangster Gaurav Sharma “Goru Bachcha”, local shopkeeper Inderpal Singh Ahuja (26) threw himself under a train on Friday after blaming cops in a suicide note on social-networking website Facebook.
He was missing since Thursday evening. His mutilated body was found near the Himmat Singh Nagar railway crossing. Police had summoned Ahuja in connection with the murder of local auto-rickshaw driver Vikrant Kumar, since accused Goru Bachcha used to buy mobile recharge from him.
Ahuja was from LIG Colony in the Dugri area of Ludhiana. Police identified his body from the documents found on him. His family claimed that in the past 10 days, cops had called him to the police station repeatedly and threatened him. On Thursday, he was summoned again and humiliated. He went to his shop from the police station.
The other shopkeepers watched him shut his shop at 3.30pm on Thursday and leave. At night, his family went looking for him. A railway employee at the crossing said Ahuja had jumped before a running train in the wee hours of Friday. His mother and two sisters remain in the family. His father died a few years ago. One of his sisters is unmarried. The family said it had no idea of the stress the man had been under.
The railway police have started inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Sources said the railway cops had forced the family to reach a compromise with the Dugri police. Railway SHO sub-inspector Inderjit Singh said the victim’s mother, Kuldeep Kaur, had submitted a statement that she didn’t want to pursue the case.
Probe ordered, cops suspended
On a complaint from the family, police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh asked additional deputy commissioner of police (city-2) Sandeep Garg to investigate the extortion charges against cops. The ADCP will submit his report in three days. Aulakh also sought transaction proof from the family. He said the railway police had the jurisdiction over the suicide matter. He also issued suspension orders to station house officer (SHO) Davinder Chaudhary, assistant sub-inspector Buta Singh, and head constable Swaran Singh.
The last post
‘The extortionist cops have taken away Rs 1.25 lakh of my savings and demanded Rs 1.25 lakh more, threatened to implicate me in a case of smuggling ‘chitta’ (white drug powder) otherwise,” was the first status posted around 9pm on Thursday on the Facebook page of recharge-shop owner Inderpal Singh Ahuja.
The cops he referred to were Buta Singh, Swarn Singh and Davinder Chaudhary of the Dugri police station. The victim mentioned that he had no proof against these policemen but he hoped the post would bring them to justice. He bid his friends goodbye in the end.
The next post read: “I am ending my life because of the cops.” In the final post, he cursed the cops and wrote: “They ate up all my savings.” His friends even “liked” the post but nobody took it seriously or informed the family.
Inspector Davinder Chaudhary, who is named in one of these posts, said police had summoned Ahuja about 10 days ago with the record of mobile phones he had recharged. “We did not call him after that,” said the officer, refuting the allegations of extortion.
No arrest in auto driver murder case
Gangster Gaurav Sharma “Goru Bachcha” and accomplices who shot auto-rickshaw driver Vikran Kumar in Ludhiana’s Himmat Singh Nagar on April 7 during an argument over parking are yet to be arrested.
The victim’s family held on to his body for eight days, declining to cremate him until his killers were caught. Goru Bachcha’s connection with Student Organisation of India (SOI) wing of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) then came out. The shots of the SOI hoardings featuring him with deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia went viral in the city. His pictures with former cabinet minister Heera Singh Gabria also surfaced. He remains on the run.