Friday, October 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Ashna withstood ordeal bravely
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 16
It was in the wee hours of Thursday, 1.30 to be precise, when commandos of the Punjab police stormed the Adarsh Nagar house of advocate Ashok Kumar Sonik, thus ending a drama in which an armed man held seven-year-old Ashna hostage for 11 hours.

The seven-year-old girl showed rare courage during her captivity. The abductor slapped the girl and even threatened to kill her. But Ashna just did not bother and even took a little nap before the commandos stormed the building.

The Punjab police has recommended bravery awards for Ashna and two ASIs Pushp Bali and Jagdish Kumar, who played a crucial role in the operation which led to the killing of the abductor.

Mr Dinkar Gupta, DIG, said the girl displayed extraordinary courage in an unprecedented situation and kept communicating with him and other members of the police force during the negotiations. He said the two ASIs also displayed courage while storming the house from two sides at around 1.30 a.m. today. “The girl’s parents were also very supportive and they were taken into confidence before storming the house,” said Mr Gupta.

While food was given to the abductor as part of the strategy to slow down his responses, the DIG engaged him in conversation over the mobile to enable the police commandoes to barge into the house from the rear after breaking the door, which led to the killing of the abductor, who also allegedly fired 10 rounds from his 315 and 12 bore pistols.

When The Tribune team visited Ashna’s residence, the seven-year-old girl was in a relaxed mood. Carrying her doll, Ashna did not show any sign of fatigue or stress. She kept playing with other kids and often hugged her mama and papa, who appeared to be in a fix whether to allow this correspondent to talk to her or not. Though, quite surprisingly Ashna’s smiling face did not show even the slightest sign of stress, her father was in no mood to let her talk to TNS.

“She is under stress. Please don’t talk to her. Just take her photographs,” said her father without explaining any reasons except that she was feeling a bit low. He also explained that due to the “stress”, he may not allow her to to school for about a week.

Ashna’s name has already been recommended to the state government for the bravery award because of the way she braved the 11-hour ordeal with the alleged abductor. Ashna was oblivious of what was happening around her and even that her house had been placed under a security umbrella.

An aged lady was keeping an eye on her, perhaps, for her security and also possibly to ensure that she did not talk to outsiders, particularly about the unfolding of events. 


Did the abductor want to be killed?
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 16
Did the unidentified kidnapper resorted to such wild step for some injustice meted out to him? Yes, it seems to be so if one goes through the slips which were allegedly exchanged between him and senior police officials during the negotiations held for about 11 hours till he was killed in the wee hours of today.

The slips, which were made on a home-work copy of seven-year-old Ashna and which were procured by The Tribune this evening, indicated that the kidnapper resorted to such a step as he wanted to draw the attention of the high-ups, possibly to “get justice”.

“Main Marna Chahta Hoon. Aap Commando Kaarvaai Karo. Mujhe Kiran Bedi Se Milvao. Varna Main Mar Jaoonga Aur Bachi Ko Bhi Goli Maar Doonga,” (I want to die, you resort to commando action. Arrange my meeting with Kiran Bedi, otherwise I will die and will kill the child), said one of slips. The other said, “Agar Aap Mujhe Surakshit Raasta Doge To Main Bachi Ko Chhod Dunga. Main To Lootpaat Karne Wala Tha .... Mujhe DGP Se Milvaaiye.” (If you give me safe passage, I would leave the girl. I was about to resort to loot .... Arrange my meeting with the DGP).

“Punjab Police Mera Kuch Bhi Nahin Kar Paaegi. Aap Commando Kaarvaai Karo Main Marna Chahta Hoon. Main To Marne Ke Liye Hi Aaya Hoon.” (Punjab Police cannot harm me. You do the commando action. I have come to die). “Main Duniya Se Bahut Hi Jiyada Dukhi Hoon. Mukabla Bhi Kar Sakta Hoon, Mere Paas Das Goli Hai. “(You please shoot me. I am ready to die. I can retaliate. I have 10 cartridges), said two more slip in possession of the Tribune.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |