M A I N   N E W S

Beant family seeks probe into escape
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Kotli (Ludhiana), January 22
Everything appears to be quiet in this sleepy ancestral village of former Chief Minister of Punjab late Beant Singh who was killed in a suicide attack about nine years ago. So much so that the villager, even Ms Jaswant Kaur, wife of the late Chief Minister did not have any idea about the escape of the four accused in the Beant Singh murder case from the Burail Jail last night.

Ms Jaswant Kaur learnt about the incident from a group of reporters who were accompanied by the senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka. When asked about the escape she said with cold indifference, “so what, even if they were in the jail what could the government have done”.

Ms Jaswant Kaur appeared quite upset over the progress of the case. Her son and a former president of the Zila Parishad Payal, Mr Sukhwant Singh Kotli, who stays in the village pointed out, “what has the CBI done all these years and to top it all now even the main accused have escaped from the jail.

Ms Jaswant Kaur, Mr Sukhwant Singh and Mr Tikka demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident. They maintained that the family members were still under threat and this incident had once again increased danger to their life. Mr Tej Parkash, another son of the CM who is the Transport Minister in the Punjab Cabinet and represents Payal assembly constituency, is currently in Delhi.

The family members said, he had talked to his mother and inquired about her welfare. They maintained that Mr Parkash was also feeling concerned over this incident. However, the family members refused to blame anybody, but sought a thorough inquiry into the incident

Ms Jaswant Kaur and her son said the escape was part of a greater conspiracy. They pointed out, it was not easy for anyone to escape from the high security jail. While those responsible for the security of the jail should be taken to task, but it was clear that some outside help was there and it had to be exposed, they said.

Meanwhile the local administration has tightened the security cover provided to the family. Directions had been issued to ensure that maximum and foolproof security was provided to the family to avoid any untoward incident. A number of Congress leaders called upon Ms Jaswant Kaur at her residence. 


Escapees in Solan dist?
Our Correspondent

Solan, January 22
After making their successful escape from Chandigarh’s Burail Jail in the wee hours today, the four undertrials of slain Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh have reportedly escaped into the neighbouring Solan district, according to information received by the Solan police.

The Superintendent of Police, Mr Abhishek Trivedi, while confirming this, said that armed nakas had been set up at all entry and exit points of the district, including Baddi, Nalagarh and Parwanoo.

The Nalagarh police has also set up nakas. Information was flashed to all police stations across the districts and special checking was being done on national highway routes across the district. Some persons had been rounded up in this connection, stated the Superintendent of Police.


Home Ministry asks for report
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the Chandigarh Administration in the matter of escape of three main accused in the Beant Singh assassination case. Terming the escape as unfortunate the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr I.D. Swami, told the Tribune over the phone that any action will be possible only after the Centre gets a report from the Administration.

The Burail Jail falls in Chandigarh, a Union Territory which is directly controlled by the MHA. When asked that already certain sections had been alleging that the escape was stage-managed, Mr Swami said such allegations should not be taken seriously.


Kin fear assassins killed in fake encounter
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, January 22
The Ropar police today raided the native village of the three alleged former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassins who fled from the Burail Jail, in different parts of the district. The raids were conducted by separate police parties at Dekwala, native village of Jagtar Singh Tara, Bheora, native village of Paramjit Singh Bheora, and Hawara, native village of Jagtar Singh Hawara, located on the border of Ropar-Fatehgarh district.

At Dekwala village, only Prem Kaur, paternal aunt of Jagtar Singh Tara, was present in the house when the police conducted the raid. She said a police team came in the morning and searched the house. They asked for the photograph of Jagtar Singh Tara.

While talking to newspersons, she expressed apprehension that Jagtar Singh Tara might have been killed by the police in a fake encounter. “How can anyone escape from such a high-security jail? She said.

The father of Jagtar Singh, Sadhu Singh, was admitted to the local Civil Hospital where he is likely to undergo treatment for skin cancer. When contacted in the hospital, he alleged that his son had been implicated in a false case. The police has been troubling them since Jagtar Singh was caught in the assassination case, he alleged.

When the police raided Bheora village, near Ropar, the father of Paramjit Singh Bheora was present at the residence. Later, when contacted he said a police party raided his village and asked about the whereabouts of his son. Not finding anything substantial, they returned.

Paramjit Singh Bheora’s father also expressed the apprehension that his son might have been killed by the police in a fake encounter. He also alleged that his son was implicated in a false case.

In Hawara, only Ms Narinder Kaur, mother of Jagtar Singh Hawara, was present at the time of the police raid. She told newspersons that the family had suffered a lot since Hawara was caught in the assassination case. Due to it, the family had not kept any link with him since then, she said.

Meanwhile, sources said the police had stepped up vigil around those villages.

The SSP Ropar, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, said nakas had been put up on all main roads leading from the district and raids were being conducted at the suspected hideouts of the escapes.Back


D.S. Rajput is Additional Advocate-General
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
For the family of former Chief Minister Beant Singh, it turned out to be a day of shocks.

Besides, the sensational escape of three main suspects in the Beant Singh assassination case from the high security Burail Jail, the family got another rude shock when Mr D.S. Rajput, an advocate who figured eminently in the first jail break case, was today appointed Additional Advocate-General of Punjab.

Talking to The Tribune over the telephone, Punjab Transport Minister, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, and his son, Mr Gurkirat Singh, expressed their deep shock and dismay at the appointment, saying that he was at the initial stages the lawyer of the main suspects in the late Beant Singh's assassination case and had been frequenting Burail Jail to meet Jagtar Singh Hawara, Jagtar Singh Tari, Paramjit Singh Bheora and other accused. He assumed charge of his new assignment on the day the sensational jail break took place.Back

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