Chand Kaur murder: CBI makes first arrest
In a major breakthrough in the high-profile murder of Namdhari sect matriarch Mata Chand Kaur, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday arrested Palvinder Singh alias Dimple, former driver of Thakur Dalip Singh, the head of the rival faction of Namdharis.
Kaur (88), the wife of former sect head late Satguru Jagjit Singh, was shot dead on April 4, 2016, by two unidentified assailants at the sect’s headquarters at Bhaini Sahib near Ludhiana.
Palvinder, a resident of Delhi, was earlier arrested from Bangkok and deported to India on October 11, 2018, in connection with the 2015 tiffin blast in Jalandhar that was aimed at killing the then sect head Satguru Uday Singh. Palvinder was lodged in Patiala jail.
Thakur Dalip Singh is the head of the Sirsa-based rival faction of Namdharis.
The CBI arrested Palvinder on “suspicion” of his involvement in the murder conspiracy.
The agency had moved an application before the special judicial magistrate, CBI, Mohali, GS Sekhon, saying that his custodial interrogation was needed to “unearth the conspiracy behind the murder.”
The court remanded Palvinder in CBI custody till September 30.
After the Punjab Police failed to get any clue in the case in initial probe, the Chand Kaur murder case was handed over to the CBI in September 2017 by the previous SAD-BJP government.
A CBI official, seeking anonymity, said the murder of Mata Chand Kaur, the 2011 murder of sect functionary Avtar Singh Tari who was also a close associate of Uday Singh, and the Tiffin blasts are interlinked and Palvinder is aware of the sect feud.
“Though it’s not clear if he is directly involved in the murder of Chand Kaur, his interrogation will definitely help us crack the case,” the official said.
“Palvinder is being unnecessarily dragged in the case. He was not in India from 2016 to 2018. CBI had no evidence against his involvement in the murder,” said defence lawyer Ranjodh Singh Sarao, who opposed the plea for his custodial interrogation.
TIFFIN BLAST CASE
Palvinder is the prime suspect in the 2015 tiffin blast in Jalandhar that was aimed to kill the then sect head Satguru Uday Singh. The explosives were being carried to Jalandhar, two days ahead of the Hariballabh Sangeet Sammelan, which Uday Singh was scheduled to attend. However, they went off at Dugri village on the way.
Palvinder, after his arrest in the tiffin blast case, had told the investigators that he was staying in Thailand and not joining investigations at the instance of Thakur Dalip Singh. The court is yet to frame charges against him in this case.