Monday, June 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

UK seeks CBI probe into missing NRI’s case

London, June 22
Britain has urged India to order a CBI probe into the mysterious disappearance of an NRI Customs Officer during her visit to India more than four years ago, a media report said here today.

The Metropolitan police has announced a reward of £10,000 for anybody providing any information about the disappearance of Surjit Kaur Athwal, a Customs Officer at the Heathrow Airport, treating the case as a murder inquiry, The Independent daily reported.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said the British High Commission had written to the Indian authorities to urge them to refer the case to the CBI, it reported.

Surjit, who had started divorce proceedings, was last seen in December, 1998 when she flew to Punjab with her mother-in-law, leaving her two children behind with her husband at their home in Hayes, Middlesex. But her return air ticket had never been used.

Detectives earlier arrested Sukhdev Athwal, Surjit’s husband, as well as her mother-in-law and two other family members in connection with her disappearance, but they were released without any charge. Surjit’s brother Jagdeesh Singh Dhillon, who works for the Race Equality Council in Slough, Berkshire, has accused the British authorities of “apathetic and unequal” approach in probing the matter. — PTI

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