Surinder Pal, 35, a resident of Kalyanpur village in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur, suspected to be in the illegal custody of travel agents, has been murdered in Bengaluru. Pal was to go to Canada on a false identity and pay Rs 21 lakh to a Gurdaspur travel agent for the same, his family have admitted.
Pal’s brother-in-law Gobind Singh had reported to the district police that his relative was missing on December 14. When the Tanda police went to Bengaluru to free him from the alleged captivity, they were told that Pal’s body was recovered from the bushes of a village in Ram Nagar district on December 6 and was cremated as unclaimed.
Gobind had approached the police after two other men, allegedly duped by travel agent, Harminder Singh, alias Shelly, of Chak Sharif, Gurdaspur, told him that agents had held Pal captive in Bengaluru and were torturing him. “We did not suspect the agent’s intentions when he asked Pal and the other youth to come to Bengaluru. It was after the other men returned empty-handed and cautioned us that we lodged a complaint,” said Gobind.
Gobind, who had accompanied the police team to Bengaluru, alleged that the lackadaisical attitude of the Tanda police had led to costly delay in investigation.
Day before body was found, he spoke to wife
“Pal had spoken to his wife on December 5 from Bengaluru, but he sounded worried. When we confronted the travel agent, he told us not to worry as Pal had reached Germany. Soon after, the agent and his men went underground. Then, we approached the police,” he said, adding that the family did not receive any ransom or threatening call.
“In Bengaluru, we recognised him from his photo that had been uploaded on the list of unclaimed bodies. We were told that he had died of head injury,” he added.
Tanda SHO Pardeep Singh said a murder case had been registered in Bengaluru, but no arrest had been made.
“Soon after being approached, we started an inquiry after registering a case under the Punjab Travel Professionals Regulation Act and section 420 of the IPC,” he added.
Pal is survived by wife and two children of age 3 and 2 months. The smaller one was a few days old, when he left home. “We want the harshest of punishment for the killers of my husband,” said wife Palwinder Kaur.
There is no use finding fault with the EVMs now when the party leadership committed a historic blunder with regard to the overall strategy in the elections. First, it should look within to find out reasons that stopped AAP’s march to power,” Chandigarh-based The Tribune quoted Mann as saying.