Tuesday, June 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Dhiren got arms licence from Sangrur
Police focusing on forensic evidence
Sushil Goyal and Rakesh Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Sangrur/Shimla, June 2
A police official from Shimla visited Sangrur today to verify the validity of the arms licence, issued to Dhiren Walia who allegedly murdered Padmesh Kaur, a cousin of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and mother-in-law of Sangrur MLA Arvind Khanna, in Shimla on May 30.

Sources said after verifying the validity of Dhiren’s arms licence, the district administration issued a certificate to the police official regarding validity and genuineness of the pistol’s licence, possessed by Dhiren Walia.

Officials in the district administration claimed that the arms licence to Dhiren Walia had been issued after completion of all the necessary formalities. The request of Dhiren Walia for getting an arms licence had been forwarded to the Sangrur SSP for police verification of Dhiren Walia’s conduct and residence. After receiving the police verification report, the arms licence had been issued to Dhiren in the normal course, they added.

Sources told TNS that Dhiren Walia had got the arms licence from the Sangrur District Magistrate by giving the address of the Umeed Khanna Foundation which is headed by Mr Arvind Khanna, MLA. Dhiren Walia had given his address as Dhiren Walia s/o Mr MP Walia, Umeed Khanna Foundation, Gaushala Road, Sangrur.

The arms licence had been issued to Dhiren Walia in May, 2002, under licence No 60/DM/SGR/ Sangrur/2002 for NPB Revolver/ Pistol, Rifle, and Gun, but Dhiren had purchased only a pistol (.32 bore) from Delhi in October, 2002.

Sources said initially the arms licence to Dhiren had been issued for Punjab area by the District Magistrate, but he got it extended to All-India from the Home Secretary, Punjab, in November, 2002. He had got this licence for self protection, and his licence was valid upto May, 2005.

According to a Shimla report the team investigating the Padmesh murder case is in Delhi awaiting the return of family members of the deceased who have gone to Hardwar to perform the last rites. The police is focussing on forensic evidence to make a fool-proof case.

Interrogation of family members will be possible only on Thursday when they are expected to return to Delhi. Besides, relatives of Padmesh, the team will also question the associates of the alleged murderer Dhiren to ascertain his conduct and financial position.

Mr Yog Raj Thakur, the district police chief in Shimla said, it was a proven case as Padmesh was shot in the presence of two witnesses. The police had only to establish the motive behind the incident. Apparently it appeared to be a case of sudden provocation but there must be a background to it.

The bullet with which Padmesh was shot has been sent for ballistic comparison with the ones found loaded in the pistol recovered from Dhiren. Besides, finger prints found on the weapon will also be compared to produce incontrovertible evidence before the court.

The team will also confirm from the Punjab Police whether any identity card had been issued. The identity card, which appeared to be fake, recovered from Dhiren bears the date March 2,2002. It shows him as an Inspector in the Vigilance Department.

The recovery of fake identity card only strengthens the impression that Dhiren was a shady character. The police team will question his associates in Delhi to ascertain if he had been indulging in any unlawful activities. Besides, it is also yet to be established whether the Rs 60,360 recovered from Dhiren were given to him by Padmesh or he took the money away after the murder.


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