Even as the police have confirmed that the body fished from an Ambala canal on Monday is of missing Punjab-born UK hotelier Ranjit Singh Power (54), they say they are surprised that the victim's family is not cooperating with them in the investigation.
The hotelier's UK-based NRI friend Baldev Singh Deol is one of the alleged murderers. Power's family, which lives in Wolverhampton, England, where Ranjit owned Ramada Park Hall hotel and spa, is communicating with Punjab Police only through the victim's two friends - Darshan Singh, a UK-based NRI with roots in Jalandhar; and Jalandhar-based Gulshan Sarangal.
A senior police officer investigating the case said even during the identification of the body at the Civil Hospital here, Power's family -son, Gyan; and daughter, Emma - had made no direct contact with the police and would reply to the queries only through Power's friends. Power had divorced his wife a long time ago. Power's brother, Amrik Singh, who arrived in Punjab on May 18, left for the UK on Monday afternoon, few hours before Power's body was fished from a Bhakra canal near Ambala. Even During his stay in India, Amrik was incommunicado and unavailable to the media.
"I don't know why no one from the family has come to the Indian police, so far. His brother has also gone back after coming to Jalandhar. Perhaps, it is because Power had no wife and his mother is too old to travel. I don't know about his children," said deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Rajinder Singh, who is supervising the investigation. Power's family has not told his local friend Gulshan Sarangal anything, so far, about whether it wants to cremate the hotelier in India or abroad.
Police are unclear about the motive behind murder but claim to have gathered from a co-accused that Power had arrived in Amritsar on May 8 to settle a business dispute with old friend Baldev Singh Deol, and the latter had kidnapped and strangulated him and then thrown his body into the Bhakra canal near Anandpur Sahib in Rupnagar district.
In the investigation, it came out that Power had handed over the power of attorney of his properties in Jalandhar a few months ago. "It remains a mystery why he came to India to settle the dispute when the second party was also based in the UK," said a senior police officer.
The British media have reported that after landing in Amritsar, Power rang up his business partner Angela Bir, but the local police are yet to confirm if he was carrying any mobile phone during travel.
Questions that remain
Why did Power come to India to settle the business dispute when the second party was also based in the UK?
Power had handed over the power of attorney of his properties in Jalandhar a few months ago, so what could be dispute?
Why no one from the family has come to the Indian police, so far?
Why did his brother remain unavailable to the press during his recent visit to Jalandhar?