Fatehgarh Sahib police on Wednesday arrested a man on charge of murdering six members of a family by pushing them into a canal so as to usurp their money they had made by selling land.
Accused Khushwinder Singh was arrested on a complaint of Jasmeen Kaur, 32, a resident of village Mukandpur in district Ludhiana. Police also recovered Rs 36.7 lakh from Khushwinder and the car he used in the crime.
Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu said that bodies of none of the six persons who drowned in Bhakra canal on Tuesday had been recovered so far.
Those killed were identified as Gurmail Singh, 70 a retired Punjab police constable; his wife Paramjeet Kaur, 60; son Gurinder Singh, 30; Rupinder Singh, 35; his son Jaskirat Singh, 7; and his daughter Prabhsimran Singh, 6.
All were pushed into the canal by Khushwinder on Tuesday. Jasmeen survived the tragedy by clinging to an iron railing along the canal.
In her statement, Jasmeen said that she along with her husband Rupinder and two children was living in her parental house for the last six years. She claimed that her brother Gurinder Singh was an alcoholic and the family was upset about it.
As per Jasmeen's statement, her niece's husband Khushwinder told them that he knew of a baba who could cure Gurinder's alcoholism. He also told the family that he would help send Jasmeen's husband abroad and demanded Rs 2 lakh for the same. The family mortgaged their ornaments and gave the money to Khushwinder.
Khushwinder took the family on the pretext of meeting the holy man on Tuesday. Jasmeen alleged that on the way, the accused asked the family to halt next to the Bhakra canal. Khushwinder told the family that the baba had told him that Gurinder's father Gurmail would have to drink liquor standing next to the canal if he wanted his son's alcoholism to be cured.
Jasmeen said after initial protests, Gurmail agreed to the condition for the sake of his son. Khushwinder then allegedly pushed Gurmail and a couple of other family members into the canal.
As per Jasmeen, Khushwinder had hatched the conspiracy to usurp their money, which they had received after selling some property.
The SSP said Khushwinder had confessed of killing the family by pushing them in the canal near village Thabla and near village Khalaspur. He said the accused would be presented in the court on Thursday.
The SSP said the accused told police that he had befooled the family to get the money and he had never contacted any holy man as he had claimed.
Bassi Pathana police have registered a case against Khushwinder under Sections 302, 307, 201 of the IPC.