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Ludhiana pastor’s killing: DGP Arora hints at foreign hand

Four people rounded up for questioning; Arora gives cheque for ₹5lakh to Masih’s family, job letter to son

punjab Updated: Jul 18, 2017 20:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Ludhiana pastor’s,Ludhiana pastor killing,DGP Arora
Punjab DGP Suresh Arora(HT File)

Punjab director general of police (DGP) Suresh Arora on Tuesday said there might be a possible connection between the killing of Ludhiana pastor and other high-profile murders in the state, including that of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Brig Jagdish Gagneja (retd) and Namdhari sect matriarch Chand Kaur.

“There are externals forces, including those based in Pakistan, that do not want to see communal harmony and peace in Punjab. It would not be surprising if these forces are behind the killings of religious leaders,” said Arora.

Ludhiana church priest Sultan Masih, 50, was shot dead by two unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants in the Salem Tabri area of the city on Saturday. Though the police have failed to make any breakthrough in the case, they have rounded up four people for questioning. The police have also taken Masih’s mobile phone in custody and are scanning it for any messages or phone calls that could provide a lead.

In Ludhiana to meet the family of the pastor, the DGP gave a cheque for ₹5 lakh to Masih’s wife. He also handed over a letter for job to Masih’s son to the police commissioner. “The pastor’s son will be given a job in the police department once he completes his education. Till then, the letter will remain with the Ludhiana police commissioner” said Arora.

The DGP, who was accompanied by commissioner of police RN Dhoke, visited the spot where the pastor was shot dead.

Talking to the media, the DGP said the police got some clues to Masih’s killing and the special investigation team (SIT) formed to crack the case was on the job. The accused would be nabbed soon, he added.

He said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the killings of the RSS leader and Chand Kaur, is in touch with the state police.

The murders of Punjab Shiv Sena’s labour wing chief Durga Prasad Gupta in April last year, publicity manager of Shri Hindu Takht Amit Sharma in January this year, followers of Dera Sacha Sauda Satpal Sharma and his son Ramesh Kumar at Khanna in February this year have raised questions over the law and order situation in the state.

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 20:41 IST