Saturday, October 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Manhunt on to trace Nishan
From Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

JALANDHAR, Oct 20 — Pressurised by the CBI, the Punjab police has finally launched a manhunt to trace Nishan Singh by forming a team of police officers to trace the missing ASI, attached with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, as her gunman.

Nishan Singh, who is at present serving with 75 Commando Battalion of the Punjab Armed Police (PAP), is one of the seven accused in the case registered by the CBI in connection with the mysterious death of Harpreet Kaur, the daughter of Bibi Jagir Kaur. Except for Bibi Jagir Kaur and Nishan Singh, five of the seven accused have already been arrested by the CBI.

The CBI has already issued two reminders to the Punjab police authorities to produce Nishan Singh, particularly after the Director-General of Police, Mr Sarabjit Singh, had admitted in Jalandhar last week that Nishan was with the Punjab police and would be produced whenever desired by the CBI. Despite reminders he has not been produced before the CBI by the Punjab police so far, thus creating a piquant situation since Nishan was said to be a key witness to the mysterious circumstances under which Harpreet had died on April 21.

Inquiries by TNS revealed the office of the DGP had directed the Additional Director-General of the Punjab police to trace and produce Nishan Singh before the CBI. The ADGP and the in charge of the PAP had subsequently directed the commandant of 75 Commando Battalion to do the needful.

With a view to trace Nishan Singh, the commandant has formed a two-member team comprising Gurmel Singh, DSP, and Baz Singh, an ASI. Since Nishan Singh is a relative of Bibi Jagir Kaur and is posted with her as her personal security officer, the team, which was still in the dark about his whereabouts, also raided the official residential quarters of Nishan Singh in Jalandhar’s Police Lines, but found the place locked.

Speaking to TNS on condition of anonymity, a senior PAP official said the team had been instructed to comply with the orders of the DGP’s office and serve the notice on him or his wife and preferably trace him.

Usual morning calm prevailed, when The Tribune team reached the residential area of the Police Lines, where Nishan has been putting up in the small third-floor quarter number 90. A newspaper and a milkman greeted the team at the doorstep of Nishan while none of his neighbours was ready to come out with any information regarding his whereabouts except Mrs Neelam, a neighbour, who said he and his family had not been seen for the past five-six days.

“I was out of station but I have learnt the family had shifted to their native village,” said Mrs Neelam. Similarly, the milkman who used to serve milk to Nishan’s family reluctantly informed the latter was not present in his house for the past six days. “I am also waiting for them,” said the milkman.

Meanwhile, sources in the CBI and the Punjab police said Nishan might dilly-dally on the issue of joining the ongoing CBI investigation since his revelation or statements could prove to be crucial, particularly when Bibi Jagir Kaur had herself claimed on the day Harpreet’s cremation that the latter had died in Nishan’s arms while she was being “shifted” to hospital in a critical condition. Moreover, Nishan’s arrest could go a long way in solving the mystery shrouding the death as he is a close relative and a confidant of Bibi Jagir Kaur.

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