Body at forest resort: 3-member SIT formed to probe ‘murder’, WWICS head fails to join probe | punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Body at forest resort: 3-member SIT formed to probe ‘murder’, WWICS head fails to join probe

Autopsy inconclusive: Doctors fail to establish cause of death as body was highly decomposed.

punjab Updated: Mar 29, 2018 11:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
The trio — liasoning officer Gurdeep Bains, his assistant Tarsem Singh and security in-charge Balwinder Singh —   had claimed that they found Guleria’s body in the tank of resort’s sewage treatment plant, following which they informed Sandhu, who asked them to dispose of the body to avoid controversy.
The trio — liasoning officer Gurdeep Bains, his assistant Tarsem Singh and security in-charge Balwinder Singh — had claimed that they found Guleria’s body in the tank of resort’s sewage treatment plant, following which they informed Sandhu, who asked them to dispose of the body to avoid controversy.(HT File )

Three days after a 28-year-old CTU employee was found dead on the Pinjore-Baddi road, the Punjab director general of police (DGP) on Wednesday constituted a three-member special investigation team (SIT) to investigate the murder.

The SIT, headed by inspector general (IG, crime) Shashi Prabha Diwedi, hasDhruman Nimbale, assistant inspector general (AIG, intelligence), and Mohali senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kuldeep Singh Chahal as members.Victim Abhishek Guleria had gone missing after visiting a relative’s house in Nayagaon on March 14. He was found dead on the Pinjore-Baddi road on March 25.

On Tuesday, Mohali police had named Lt Col Baljit Singh Sandhu (retd), chairman of WWICS Group, an immigration consultancy, and owner of Forest Hill Resort in Nayagaon, in the murder FIR.

Besides, cops had arrested three employees of the upscale resort, located 5km from PGIMER, Chandigarh, for allegedly dumping the victim on the Pinjore-Baddi road on March 22.

The trio — liasoning officer Gurdeep Bains, his assistant Tarsem Singh and security in-charge Balwinder Singh — had claimed that they found Guleria’s body in the tank of resort’s sewage treatment plant, following which they informed Sandhu, who asked them to dispose of the body to avoid controversy.

They had allegedly wrapped the body and drove to the Pinjore-Baddi road in a Tata Pickup to dump it on the night of March 22. While they are facing a case under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (destruction of evidence) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, no charges have been pressed against Sandhu.

Cause of death not clear

A three-member panel of doctors performed the autopsy in Patiala. Stating that the body was highly decomposed, a doctor, wishing not to be named, said the cause of death could not be ascertained at this stage.

“We have sent the viscera for chemical examination. A diatom analysis will also be done to ascertain whether the victim died of drowning,” the doctor said, adding that they could not establish any injury marks on the body due to decomposition. Meanwhile, sources in the Mohali police said the doctors had cited drowning as the cause of death.

Sandhu fails to join probe

Lt Col Baljit Singh Sandhu (retd), chairman of Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) Group, was on Tuesday summoned by the police to join the probe, but he failed to turn up even on Wednesday. Sources in the Mohali police said police teams had raided all his possible hideouts, including his houses in Sector 68, Mohali, and Nayagaon, but they were found locked.

“So far Sandhu has not joined the investigation. We are awaiting the autopsy report for further action,” said Kuldeep Singh Chahal, SSP, Mohali.

Victim was missing since March 14

Abhishek Guleria, a Burail resident, who hailed from Himachal Pradesh, was working at the CTU workshop in Chandigarh for the past six years. Police said he had gone to a relative’s house in Nayagaon on March 13, where he was drinking till past midnight. He left from there early morning but didn’t reach home. His brother Rahul approached the police on March 15.

On March 25, Haryana Police informed the Mohali SSP about a body recovered along the Pinjore-Baddi road.

The SSP asked all police stations about reports on missing persons, following which Nayagaon police took Guleria’s family for identification of the body on March 26. After identification, police took the body in their custody. During a probe in the area, police rounded up the Forest Hill Resort employees.

‘Sandhu unaware of incident’

On the other hand, Digvijay Jamwal, brand and corporate head, Forest Hill Resorts, claimed that Sandhu had no knowledge of the matter. “These people got scared (on finding the body) and unfortunately decided to dump it, fearing that they would lose their jobs,” he claimed. He said they will brief the media on Thursday, since they have been told that the autopsy had ruled out foul play in the death.

On why Sandhu had not joined probe, he said Sandhu had been travelling since before this matter came to light.

He also claimed that the body was not found in a septic tank. “A pit was dug up around four feet from the resort’s boundary wall. The victim either tried to trespass into the resort and fell into the pit or was killed somewhere else and dumped there. Nobody spotted him for several days as it was outside the boundary wall,” Jamwal said.

Cops raid Sandhu’s houses, return empty-handed

Lt Col Baljit Singh Sandhu (retd), chairman of Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) Group, was on Tuesday summoned by the police to join the probe, but he failed to turn up even on Wednesday.

Sources in the Mohali police said police teams had raided all his possible hideouts, including his houses in Sector 68, Mohali, and Nayagaon, but they were found locked.“So far Sandhu has not joined the investigation. We are awaiting the autopsy report for further action,” said Kuldeep Singh Chahal, SSP, Mohali.

‘Sandhu unaware of case’

Digvijay Jamwal, brand and corporate head, Forest Hill Resorts, claimed that Sandhu had no knowledge of the matter. “These people got scared, and unfortunately decided to dump it, fearing that they would lose their jobs,” he claimed. He said they will brief the media on Thursday, since they have been told that the autopsy had ruled out foul play in the death.On why Sandhu had not joined probe, he said Sandhu had been travelling since before this matter came to light.

He also claimed that the body was not found in a septic tank. “A pit was dug up inside the resort’s boundary wall. The victim either tried to trespass into the resort and fell into the pit or was dumped there. Nobody spotted him for several days as the staff does not frequent that area,” Jamwal said.