Tuesday, August 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bank looted, manager killed
From Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Aug 28 — In a daredevil dacoity, three turbaned youths in their twenties killed a manager and gunman of the Punjab and Sind Bank branch on Sultanwind road before decamping with Rs 1.97 lakh.

The broad daylight dacoity has created panic in this holy city.

The Senior Manager, Mr Rajinder Mohan Singh (50), and gunman Gurdeep Singh reportedly died on the way to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital.

The police has yet to ascertain whether the dacoits have any link with militants.

Narrating the tragic incident, the shell-shocked staff of the bank said the assailants entered the bank on the pretext of meeting Nirmal Singh, a gunman, who was incidentally on leave. They told the deceased gunman that a close relative of Nirmal Singh was in a serious condition in Guru Nanak Dev Hospital and they had come to the bank to inform him (Nirmal Singh).

When the deceased gunman took the culprits inside they snatched his rifle and went to the cabin of the cashier. A large number of customers were present there when the incident occurred during peak hours.

When gunman Gurdeep Singh resisted the dacoits he was killed on the spot with his own rifle, which had been snatched earlier. The customers and the staff tried to hide under the furniture. Meanwhile, the assailants snatched cash from cashier Amarjit Singh.

However, when they found that the cash was not sufficient they went to the cabin of the Senior Manager and demanded keys of the chest. When he refused to hand them over he was also shot dead.

The Amritsar police has beefed up security and sounded the alert in the entire border belt to nab the culprits. The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Bakshi Ram, the SSP, Amritsar, Mr Parmpal Singh Sidhu, and the SSP, Majitha, Mr Lok Nath Angra, rushed to the spot on hearing news of the dacoity.

Gagandeep Singh, a second year student of food and technology at Guru Nanak Dev University and a son of the deceased Senior Manager said his father had asked him in the morning to come early as he wanted to go along with him for some urgent work. The deceased is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.


Train passengers robbed
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 28 — Almost all passengers travelling in an airconditioned chair car of the Himalayan Queen were robbed by armed bandits near Panipat in a daring dacoity, reports received here said tonight.

According to a passenger travelling in the train, the robbers, seven to eight in number and carrying pistols and knives, entered coach C-1 at the Panipat railway station. They locked both the entrances to the coach and started robbing all passengers. They stabbed two passengers who resisted the robbery attempt. Both the victims were attacked with sharp-edged weapons.

Two women passengers who were on their way back to Delhi after attending a marriage in Chandigarh — Mrs Babli Bakshi and Mrs I.J. Singh — lost all their gold and other ornaments. Also robbed were Mrs Kumar and other ladies in the coach.

The male passengers were deprived of their wallets, gold ornaments, including rings and also other valuables, besides cash. A passenger, who belongs to Bengal, but was travelling in the adjoining First Class AC coach, said that though two policemen were present in his coach, they had no inkling of the goings on in the C-1 coach. The looting continued for over 20 minutes. Two foreigners travelling in the coach were also robbed of their money.

Until 11 p.m., almost an hour after the incident, the train was still at the Sonepat railway station where senior police and railway officials were making enquiries from all passengers.

The passengers, angered by the daring armed robbery, accused the police of mix-up with criminals as no one from those on duty on board, made any round of the airconditioned coach where the robbers did their job at leisure and disappeared without being checked.

A police official at the Sonepat government railway police post said that one of the injured passengers has been admitted to the GD Sharma Hospital at Sonepat while other was discharged after first aid at the railway station medical aid post.

After finishing their job, they reportedly pulled the chain and got down from the train while it was at outer signal near the Ghanaur railway station.

When The Tribune contacted the government railway police at Panipat, police personnel present on duty expressed their ignorance about the incident. A policeman, however, said that the Assistant Station Master had received a vague message that one person has been stabbed with a knife.


Three rape minor
From Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

TALWANDI SABO, Aug 28 — The minor daughter of a “sewadar” of the langar (kitchen) section of Takht Damdama Sahib was allegedly raped by three Nihangs who were members of the Budha Dal, which has its headquarters here, on August 26.

The victim was raped by the three accused who were wearing the dress of Nihangs when she was coming back from the cotton fields adjoining her house after answering the call of nature.

In the FIR registered at the local police station, she alleged that around 8 p.m. on that day, the accused, who were standing on the road, took her to the cotton fields. The accused have been identified as Gokal Singh, Bhagu and Jagtar Singh.

She said Gokal Singh closed her mouth and raped her. Then Bhagu and Jagtar Singh raped her. The accused tore off her clothes and left her in the fields.

The victim raised the alarm. Listening her cries, her mother and father reached the spot. On seeing her parents, the accused ran away from there.

Police sources said the father of the victim, who belonged to Gurdaspur district, was living in a house located in the fields and he was working as a “sewadar”.

A medical examination of the victim revealed multiple injuries on her mouth, neck and private parts. Vaginal swabs had been sent to a laboratory for chemical examination, civil hospital sources said.

However, the clothes, which the victim had been wearing when she was raped, could not be examined the as she had changed her clothes after rape.

Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, when contacted said the accused had been arrested and further investigations were on. A case under Sections 376 and 34 of the IPC had been registered against them. 

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