The increasing number of murder incidents in Tarn Taran district has become a cause of concern for the local people as well as the police authorities, here. As many as four such cases have been reported in the last four days from January 11 to 14.
Ironically, the police have failed to arrest majority of the accused behind these crimes. Another frightening aspect of these incidents was that these murders were committed in heinous ways, which suggested the total indifferent attitude of the criminals towards the law and order in the district.
In a suspected case of honour killing, a 17-year-old youth, a resident of Dyal Rajputan village, 16 km from here, was found murdered on January 11. The deceased, identified as Avtar Singh, a student of Class 11 at the government high school, Shahbazpur, had going missing since the night of January 9 and his body was found under a heap of straw on the bank of a canal, 4 km from nearby Kuharka village.
The police had said Avtar was in a relationship with classmate Sukhwinder Kaur of Kuharka village. According to investigation, the girl had invited Avtar to her house and it was suspected that her family knew about this and was behind his murder. The body, which was without the legs, was partially burnt. Stray dogs were preying on the body when it was found.
Meanwhile, another youth was found murdered at Palasaur village, falling under Sadar police station the next day. In this incident of cold blooded murder, some unidentified persons had burnt his body, covering it with quilt. The police registered a case against unidentified persons but have failed to trace the accused so far.
In yet another incident, on night of Lohri festival (January 13), a 25-year-old man, identified as Gursewak Singh, was killed in alleged firing during an argument over playing of loud music at a Lohri function at Marar village in Patti sub-division. Another person, Jasbir Singh, was critically injured in the firing. The village sarpanch, Kuldeep Kaur, and her husband Bohad Singh were prime accused in this case registered against as many as 18 persons. Of them, only seven accused have been arrested so far.
Meanwhile, another case of murder was reported from Allowal village on Friday (January 14), when the police found a pundit (priest of temple), who was reportedly missing since Wednesday morning, murdered under mysterious circumstances. His body was without head.
The deceased has been identified as Inder Lal, a resident of Tarn Taran. His son Surinder Kumar said his father went to someone’s house at Fatehabad village to hold “hawan” on Wednesday morning, but did not return home. On Friday, members of the victim’s family and scores of Tarn Taran residents staged protest against the police inaction in nabbing the killers outside the SSP’s office here.
“The police are serious about the murder incidents, which have come in light in large number and have constituted special teams comprising senior officials to nab the culprits. These teams are working very hard to trace the killers and reach their hideouts,” SSP Manmohan Sharma said.
“Increasing rate of crime in the district is a cause of concern. Maintaining law and order in the society is the primary duty of the police. If somebody commits crime, it means he is not afraid of the police. Such situation is created only when the police deal with criminals with soft hands,” opined Tajinderpal Singh, social and farmer activist.