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Akash Sen murder: Key witness takes U-turn, says wasn’t at spot

In his statement to police on the fateful night, Shergill had stated that he was present at the scene and in fact helped in putting an injured Sen in the car to be taken to hospital.

punjab Updated: Oct 11, 2018 21:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Akash Sen murder,Virbhadra Singh,punjab
Akash Sen(HT File )

Having initially told police that he had seen the alleged murder of Akansh Sen — relative of former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh — key witness Gagandeep Shergill, alias Shera, on Wednesday retracted his original statement before the trial court.

Shera told court that he was not present at the spot when the alleged incident took place outside a house in Sector 9 on February 9, 2017.

Shergill’s retraction comes exactly a week after the Punjab and Haryana high court directed the Chandigarh administration and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s to produce probe transfer files.

Sen died after being run over thrice by a BMW car. The main accused, Balraj Randhawa, has been declared a proclaimed offender. Co-accused Harmehtab Singh Rarewala was arrested on February 16, 2017. He is the grandson of the erstwhile PEPSU chief minister Gian Singh Rarewala while Randhawa is the son of a former sarpanch of Fatehgarh Sahib.

Had told different story to police

In his statement to police on the fateful night, Shergill had stated that he was present at the scene and in fact helped in putting an injured Sen in the car to be taken to hospital. However, during cross-examination on Wednesday, he told court that he had not made any such statement and the police had made it up on their own. He claimed he had dropped everyone outside the house in Sector 9 and hence was not an eyewitness to the incident.

Tiff that led to murder

According to police investigation, reported exclusively by HT last year, the crime was the result of enmity between Shergill and Rarewala.

It all started with a trip to Manali where the duo had a tiff over some women friends who had accompanied them. Shergill had thrashed Rarewala so badly that he had to be hospitalised in Manali for several days. Seeking to avenge the thrashing, Rarewala called Shergill to his farmhouse in Landran a few weeks later and thrashed him with the help of his aides.

On the fateful day, 11 friends, including three woman, had gone for a get-together at Boombox Café in Sector 9, co-owned by Sen.

Later, Sen, Shergill and Rarewala went to the house of Deep Sidhu (a national shooter) in Sector 9. The argument between Shergill and Rarewala resurfaced and when the matter threatened to get out of hand, Sidhu, who had even called up the police control room, told all to leave.

Police had claimed that Randhawa, who was driving the BMW car, was provoked by Rarewala to “hit and kill” Sen outside the Sector 9 house. The challan was presented in June last year. The charges against Rarewala were framed under Sections 302 (murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

First Published: Oct 11, 2018 10:25 IST