M A I N   N E W S

‘Killer’ Kohli arrested

Siliguri, July 15
Maninderpal Singh Kohli, accused of rape and murder of British schoolgirl Hannah Foster in Southampton in England on March 14 last year, was arrested this morning from Pani Tanki in Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district along the Indo-Nepal border in North Bengal.

Inspector-General of Police, North Bengal, Bagish Mishra today said the man was arrested this morning at a place 60 km from here under Naxalbari police station on the Indo-Nepal border. He was trying to cross over to Nepal.

Mr Mishra said the man was hiding in Kalimpong for the past three months. He had reportedly married a woman there.

He had been taken to Kalimpong after the arrest and was being interrogated. He had confessed to being the wanted man, Mr Mishra said.

A team of the Punjab police would visit Kalimpong to verify if the man arrested was indeed Maninderpal Singh Kohli, who was a sandwich delivery driver in Southampton and originally hailed from Mohali in Punjab. Mr Mishra said Kohli had so far admitted to having lived in England, but not yet confessed to the killing.

Kohli, who had left behind his wife and two children in England after allegedly committing the crime and escaped to India, would be handed over to the Punjab police by the state police.

The police said Kohli, who had settled in the area after marrying a Nepalese woman, was arrested following a tip-off from locals after his photographs were flashed on the television channels in the hills. Photographs of the accused were also published in newspapers on July 14, after the victim's parents flew down to India to announce a reward of Rs 50 lakh for clues to him.

Mr Mishra said after being tipped-off by locals, the police initially searched the Kalimpong residence of Kohli, who was living under the alias Dennis, but could not find him. "We then sounded an alert at Siliguri and along the borders with Nepal and Bhutan. Finally, we could nab him from Pani Tanki on the Indo-Nepal border as he was about to cross over," the IGP said.

Mr Mishra said after coming to this part of the country, Kohli had initially checked into a hotel in Darjeeling and then moved on to Kalimpong, where he had been staying for the past three months.

Hannah's parents, Mr Trevor and Ms Hilary Foster, addressing a news conference in New Delhi on July 13, had made a heartfelt appeal to the people to help trace the culprit.

The 17-year-old girl went missing on March 14 last year in Southampton and her body was found after two days. An autopsy revealed that she was raped and then strangled to death.

The British police had announced a reward of Rs 45 lakh and the daily The Sun another Rs 5 lakh for information leading to Kohli's arrest.

Kohli, a migrant truck driver who lived close to the Fosters' residence, had been stalking Hannah. He had fled England for India within two days of the discovery of Hannah's body. — UNI, PTI


Punjab cops head for W Bengal

Chandigarh, July 15
A team of the the Punjab police is likely to leave for West Bengal within a day or so to apprehend M.S. Kohli. It will be headed by IGP Sumedh Saini. — TNS


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