Sunday, April 15, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

No reprieve for Zaffarwal: CM
Our Correspondent

Gurdaspur, April 14
Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, talking to newspersons at Pathankot today said the arrest of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal at Amritsar was the right step and deserved appreciation. Rumours being spread that it was a drama enacted by the police was false, he claimed.

Mr Badal said the government had no plan to grant the arrested militant any form of reprieve. He would be treated strictly.

Militants hiding in Pakistan would also be arrested and dealt with according to law if they come to Punjab, he said. Mr Badal who was at Pathankot in connection with a sangat darshan programme said the government would hand over the building of the old hospital situated at Gandhi Chowk to the local civic authorities for constructing a multiple storyed commercial complex. He distributed cheques worth Rs 33.5 lakh to 11 panchayats falling in Pathankot jurisdiction.

Regarding the electoral alliance, he said the SAD-BJP alliance would last, adding that the SAD was open to seat adjustment with like-minded parties opposed to the Congress.

When asked why he was maintaining a silence over Tehelka expose issue Mr Badal said the appointment of an inquiry commission headed by a Supreme Court judge was a right move and those found guilty would be booked. He ruled out mid-term elections in Punjab and said the fears expressed by Capt Amarinder Singh, President, PPCC, were a figment of his imagination. He said the SAD-BJP government would last full term.Back


Zaffarwal booked
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 14
Dreaded terrorist Wassan Singh Zaffarwal was booked two days after his arrest on April 11 by Majitha police under Sections 419/420 and 467/471 of the IPC and Indian Passports Act at Rajasansi police station last night.

According to the I.G. Border Police Mr A.P. Pandey, Zaffarwal was carrying a fake passport when he arrived in Amritsar on a Turkmenistan flight on March 9.


Kin of Zaffarwal victims sore
His ‘VIP treatment’ reopens old wounds
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Dasuya (Hoshiarpur), April 14
The Punjab Government and the state police may have been able to earn some “mileage and credibility” out of the alleged stage-managed arrest of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, the most wanted militant leader and the chief of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), but the ‘VIP treatment’ meted out to him reopened the old wounds of the kin of those residents of this township who were killed in militant attacks that were believed to be the handiwork of the KCF (Zaffarwal) between 1984 and 1991.

Dasuya township has faced the militants’ wrath a number of times in the shape of shootouts in which about six to seven persons were killed and two dozen injured. The name of the KCF chief figures in two cases registered at the local police station for allegedly killing two persons and injuring several others in two shootouts in the city in 1984 and 1991.

Time had almost healed the wounds of those families who had lost their members in these militant attacks. But Zaffarwal’s “dramatic” and “VIP-style arrest” by the Majitha police from a dhaba near Amritsar’s main bus stand had reopened old wounds.

The residents of this township, particularly those whose kin were killed either by the KCF (Zaffarwal) or KCF (Panjwar), the two groups which were active in the area during the peak of militancy, want him to be dealt with sternly and in accordance with the law of the land.

“Why he is being given a hero’s welcome? He should be treated like any other militant and should be made to face the law as others have been doing for their wrongdoings,” was the reaction of almost all residents, whom this correspondent talked to.

Showing his belly which had been pierced by bullets, pumped in to him by a group of militants in Dasuya’s main bazaar on January 25, 1984, Mr Balbir Dass of Kainthan village recalled the fateful day when half a dozen people fell to the militants’ bullets and about a dozen got injured. “After showering bullets on me, they had injured several people, including two Christian youths in the next chowk. What happened thereafter was more painful. I had to remain admitted to Ludhiana’s CMC for 11 months. Had I not survived, who would have looked after my two small kids?”, he asked. He said there was no point in giving a lenient treatment to somebody. “How they can treat the person who is said to have been directly or indirectly involved in so many killings in this fashion?”, he rued.

Subhash, whose father, Dev Raj Mahajan, fell to militants’ bullets on January 25, 1985, along with several others, and who had to leave his Army job after that to run his father’s karyana shop said,” There is nothing like government and common law in the country. Why do they apply different yardsticks to people responsible for the killings of innocent people. You tell me what you would think about the drama of arrest if the same thing had happened to you? I think the root of this evil should be destroyed,” said an anguished Subhash.

On the same unfortunate day, Chand Rani, a karyana shop owner, had lost her husband, Chaman Lal, who had gone to the market to fetch a kite for her child. Unable to control her tears, she recalled how the incident had compelled a homely person like her to run her husband’s shop. “We don’t understand why the government is behaving in this manner by showing a soft corner towards Zaffarwal, who along with Baba Ranjit Singh, had been instrumental in the killings, as per the later confession of Baba Ranjit before us in the Sadiq police station. It is surprising that he has been roaming freely in Punjab for quite some time”, said Chand Rani and her brother-in law, Ramesh Kumar.

It was in these two cases that Zaffarwal was named as main accused by the Dasuya police.

April 16, 1991, was the day when darkness engulfed the lives of Ram Piari, 65, and her 25-year-old daughter, Sonia. Her husband, Ved Parkash, and only son, Krishan Kumar ‘Laadi’, were brutally murdered by militants in their grocery shop in the main bazaar. Since there was no male member left, Ram Piari and Sonia, who is also doing her BA, have to run the family shop, which hardly enables them to meet both ends.

“I had to run the shop to divert the attention of Sonia. We want that the people who had darkened our lives forever should not be spared at any cost,” said a tearful Ram Piari. Shopkeepers Naresh, Pardeep and Amar Nath Chadha, too, echoed their sentiments, saying, “They (the killers) deserve no leniency.”

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