Akali legislator from Mansa Prem Mittal may be in for trouble as the main suspect in the March 24 former ITBP inspector’s murder at Una in Himachal Pradesh claims to be his “son-in-law”.
According to a probe conducted by the Una police, accused Vishal Bansal, a businessman settled in Gagret in Una district, had allegedly conspired to eliminate retired ITBP official Kashmir Singh, a resident of Mawa Sindhian village of Una, on March 24 with the help of two men from Hoshiarpur (already arrested in the case).
Bansal is married to the daughter of former Congress councillor and former acting District Mahila Congress chief from Asha Garg in Ludhiana. A case under Sections 302 (murder), 392 (robbery), 341 (wrongly restrained), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) had been registered at the Gagret police station against Bansal and two Hoshiapur youth, Amarinder Singh Nagra and Yuvraj Singh, after the wards of the retired cop found his body lying in a forest in Hoshiapur, bordering Una district.
Gagret SHO Gaurav Sharma said in the course of investigations, the two accused, who allegedly killed the former cop on Bansal’s instructions, had told the police that he used to assure them that they would not face any action as his father-in-law was an Akali MLA from Mansa.
“The accused is at large. His bail plea was dismissed by the Supreme Court on June 16,” said the SHO. As per the statements of the arrested accused and the call details of Bansal’s family, the police are apprehending that he was hiding somewhere in Mansa, the SHO added.
On May 31, a team of the Gagret police visited Mittal’s house in Mansa where he assured the cops that he would talk to his mother-in-law to ask Bansal to surrender, said a police official.
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Mittal, who was a Congress leader having base in Ludhiana before he joined SAD ahead of the 2012 assembly polls, was senior deputy mayor in the Ludhiana municipal corporation from 2002 to 2007 and Asha Garg was a Congress councillor from 1992 to 97, when Mittal was also a councillor.
Congress leaders from Ludhiana said during the Congress rule, both Asha and Mittal were political close. Even when the Gagret police team raided Garg’s house in May, she wrote her address as “Asha Garg w/o Prem Mittal”. However, in another statement to the police after a few days, Garg cited Rajinder Kumar as her husband. Even as Mittal rubbished the charges that Bansal was his son-in-law, he said: “I know Bansal as Garg is a close family friend. In our culture, we also give equal honour to our friend’s son-in-law. This must have led to confusion,” Mittal told HT.