Punjab nurse’s killer confesses on live TV, arrested
Two weeks after committing crime at a hotel in Chandigarh, 31-year-old surfaces at a Punjabi news channel officeUpdated: Jan 15, 2020 01:08 IST
Maninder Singh, who was being hunted by Chandigarh Police for killing a nurse at a hotel around New Year’s Eve, confessed to his crime on live television here on Tuesday.
A murder convict currently out on bail, he also confessed to the previous crime committed in Karnal in 2010, even as he had earlier filed a review petition in the high court.
As soon as they got the information, cops rushed to the office of the Punjabi news channel in the Industrial Area, Phase 2, and arrested the 31-year-old while the programme was still being telecast from the TV studio.
Sarabjit Kaur, 27, was found lying on the bed with her throat slit, in room number 301 at Hotel Sky, also in the Industrial Area, Phase 2, on the afternoon of January 1.
She had checked into the hotel along with Maninder on December 30. CCTV footage showed Maninder leaving the hotel the same evening. The murder came to light when the hotel staff went to inquire about their check-out timings, as the couple had made the booking for just two days.
Sarabjit, who belonged to Sangrur and had previously worked at a private hospital in Mohali, had recently got selected as a nurse at the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bathinda. Her training was to commence at the PGIMER in a few days.
Maninder used to work as a driver at a factory in the Industrial Area, Phase 1, till about three months back. The two were in a relationship and had visited the hotel a number of times, police had claimed.
“I killed her because she was having an affair with her sister-in-law’s brother,” said Maninder, during his interview in the TV studio.
Maninder said the man in question had sent her a message on her mobile phone, stating that he was leaving for Kuwait and
she should meet him before his departure.
“I saw the messages on Sarabjit’s phone and asked her about him. She said they were supposed to get married, but later her family decided that they would first marry Sarabjit’s elder brother. After this, I choked her and then killed her with a knife,” said Maninder.
During the interview, Maninder claimed everything was fine between the couple and they had even visited Amritsar, although Sarabjit’s family had refused to his marriage proposal.
“Her family told me that as their daughter has a government job and I am jobless, they couldn’t marry her to me. The second reason was our caste. I regret what I did,” he said.
In fact, after being arrested, Maninder reportedly told police that he and Sarabjit were planning to elope and he had also taken a loan from bank.
Haryana Police had arrested Maninder for killing a woman, with whom he had a relationship, in Karnal back in 2010. He was later convicted, following which he had challenged the order in the Punjab and Haryana high court. He was presently out on bail.
Confessing to that crime as well, Maninder said: “I killed Renu during a fight at Karna Lake in Karnal, where she had gone for her training. She was also having an affair with a man from Uttar Pradesh.”
According to the channel officials, Maninder reached their office around 6pm and contacted a cameraman who was shooting a news video. He told the staffer about his case and said that he wanted to surrender as “police have held his parents captive”. While he was taken to the TV studio, the management informed the Sector 31 police station.
During the interview, Maninder said that before leaving his house last month, he had lied to his parents that he was going to Ludhiana as he had got a job.
After committing the crime, he had been on the move — staying in Bathinda, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Patiala, Sangrur and Jalandhar — to avoid being traced, said police. His Hyundai i20 car, which was abandoned in Patiala, was recovered two days ago, said an investigating official.
Maninder is the youngest of three siblings. His father is a carpenter and his two elder sisters are married. The accused has studied till Class 12 at Government Senior Secondary School in Sector 27.
Even as police had been claiming that Maninder fled to Punjab or Madhya Pradesh after changing his baptised Sikh look, he appeared on TV with a flowing beard and turban. Police are yet to recover the murder weapon. Maninder, who was booked under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code, will be produced in court on Tuesday.
A RECAP: AS IT HAPPENDED
6pm: Maninder Singh reached the news channel office, walks towards a cameraman shooting a live video, confesses and seeks his help
6:15pm: He is taken to the studio for an interview by the local crime team. During the course of 23-minute interview, Maninder confesses to having murdered Sarabjit as well as another woman in 2010
7pm: Police reach the spot, after being informed by the news channel management. The SHO keeps waiting outside the studio for 10 minutes, before barging in and arresting Maninder on live TV