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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Body recovered in Pinjore: Three Forest Hill employees held for murder of CTU employee

Nayagaon resort owner and WWICS chairman Lt Col Sandhu (retd) also named in FIR after trio claim he asked them to dispose of Burail man’s body found in STP tank of the resort.

punjab Updated: Mar 28, 2018 11:42 IST
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Mohali
Forest Hill Resort is located in Nayagaon.
Forest Hill Resort is located in Nayagaon. (HT File )

Lt Col Baljit Singh Sandhu (retd), chairman of WWICS Group — an immigration consultancy — and owner of Forest Hill Resort in Nayagaon, is under the scanner in the case of murder of a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) employee.

The Mohali police have arrested three Forest Hill Resort employees in the case. Sandhu’s name has also been included in the FIR though no charges have been pressed against him.

Victim Abhishek Guleria, 28, had gone missing after visiting a relative’s house in Nayagaon on March 14. His body was recovered from along the Pinjore-Baddi road on March 25.

During questioning in the area, the Mohali police zeroed in on the Forest Hill Resort employees — liasoning officer Gurdeep Bains, his assistant Tarsem Singh and security in-charge Balwinder Singh.

The three alleged they had 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 allegedly wrapped the body and drove to the Pinjore-Baddi road in a Tata Pickup to dump it on the night of March 22.

Unanswered questions
  • How did the victim enter a gated resort; CCTV footage is inconclusive
  • Was he murdered or did he commit suicide; postmortem report is awaited
  • Did someone else dump the body at resort, as claimed by Forest Hill Resort representative
  • Why didn’t Lt Col Sandhu, staff inform the police

Fails to join probe

A case under Sections 302 (murder), 201(destruction of evidence) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered at the Nayagaon police station.

“We have arrested three employees of Forest Hill Resort. The victim’s body has been sent to Patiala for postmortem. The report will come on Wednesday. We have raided Sandhu’s house in Sector 68, but it was locked,” said Mohali senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kuldeep Singh Chahal.

Police even summoned Sandhu for questioning on Tuesday, but he didn’t turn up. Meanwhile, court sent the three employees to two-day police remand for further questioning.

Sources privy to the investigation said closed-circuit television footage (CCTV) shows Guleria passing the front gate of the resort. How he reached inside the resort is being probed, they said. The Tata Pickup used to dispose of the body and a Mahindra Scorpio have also been seized.

Victim went missing on March 14

Abhishek Guleria, a Burail resident who was from Himachal Pradesh, had been working at the CTU workshop 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 Mohail SSP about a body recovered along the Pinjore-Baddi road.

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

While Sandhu was not available for comment, Forest Hill Resort brand and corporate head Digvijay Jamwal alleged: “After committing the crime, someone deliberately dumped the body in the resort. The security in-charge came to know about it because of the foul smell and decided to dump the body at a faraway place.” Lt Col Sandhu’s son Devinder Sandhu is also lodged in the Amritsar jail in the suicide case of Khalsa Diwan chief’s son Inderpreet Chadha. His bail plea was to come up for hearing this week.

First Published: Mar 28, 2018 11:37 IST

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