Monday, June 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Dhiren squandered Padmesh’s money
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1
Dhiren, alias Dhiru, accused of murdering Padmesh, a cousin of Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had reportedly decided to get married which allegedly became a cause of conflict between Padmesh and him as the former felt insecure and lonely.

Padmesh was shot dead at Punjab Government’s Cedar Guest House in the wee hours on Friday.

The deceased is reported to have abused Dhiren in the guest house the night of the murder, saying: “You have shown your mentality as a commoner (taxi-wallah).” He is reported to have retorted: “You bitch, I will teach you a lesson”.

Dhiren’s friends and co-workers said today that Dhiren had had a mesmerising effect on the deceased. He squandered her money recklessly. This was obvious from his expensive clothes and shoes, the luxury cars he drove and the weapons he possessed.

Once a taxi driver, Dhiren took to expensive brands of Scotch whiskey. Two bottles of Old Smuggler, including one partly empty, were seized by the police from his room in the rest house. He had a gun and a revolver registered in his name.

The list of cars, according to his friends, further throws light on his lifestyle. From a Tata Sierra in 1999, he moved on to a Ford Ikon, a black Balero (which has been impounded by the police following his arrest) and a Scorpio. Only a few months back he had sent his father a second-hand scooter. His father is a retired government employee.

Dhiren was not only looking after Padmesh’s brother Raja Randhir Singh’s farms in Chattarpur, New Delhi, but had also been living with Padmesh in one of the cottages at the farm for over six years now. Mr Randhir Singh is the General Secretary of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

Even at the Cedar Guest House, they were sharing a room in which she was found murdered and the other two rooms were occupied by the couple accompanying them and their children.

Sources allege that the deceased had no source of income and was financially supported by her brother and her son-in-law, Mr Arvind Khanna, Congress MLA from Sangrur. Mr Khanna and his family, according to family sources, could not come for her cremation yesterday since they were away to London. Over the years, Dhiren had started attending parties hosted by Mr Randhir Singh and Mr Khanna.

Dhiren is reported to have been involved in several criminal cases in his hometown, Nahan.

SHIMLA: A police team headed by Mr Sunil Negi, investigating officer, has left for Delhi to verify the antecedents of Dhiren Walia, the alleged murderer of Padmesh Kaur.

Besides recording the statements of the family members of the deceased, the team will also ascertain the financial position and dealings of the accused.

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