M A I N   N E W S

He kept his promise
Balwant had promised his ‘human bomb’ friend Dilawar that he won’t defend himself
Saurabh Malik/TNS

Flip of a coin decided who’ll be the human bomb
Dilawar won the toss, and agreed to give his life
Balwant tied explosives on Dilawar’s body
Dilawar asked Balwant to confess to his involvement

Chandigarh, October 12
Balwant Singh has kept his promise made to his “human bomb” friend Dilawar Singh by deciding not to defend himself in the Beant Singh assassination case. The verdict in the case could have been different had Balwant Singh defended himself. But his three confessional statements and no evidence in his favour prevented the Punjab and Haryana High Court from having “a second thought” on the death sentence awarded to him by the trial court.

Apparently, Balwant Singh wanted the high court to order his hanging, as just before the assassination he had promised Dilawar Singh that he would not defend himself. But this is just one bizarre fact of the intriguing tale.

You may dismiss it as “too strange to be true”, but for deciding who would become the human bomb for eliminating the then Chief Minister, Dilawar Singh and Balwant Singh flipped a coin. Dilawar Singh won the fatal toss and agreed to lose his life. Balwant Singh then tied explosives around Dilawar.

Before triggering off the blast, he asked co-conspirator Balwant Singh to confess his hand, which he has done in less than four years after the assassination.

The “perfectly planned” operation went kaput after the conspirators failed to retrieve the car. It could have gone unnoticed, but for fate and strange hand of nature.

Soon after the blast, two cops on duty felt the urge to smoke away from the public glare. In their anxiety, they hopped into an open Ambassador car. Little did they know it was the one used by the assassins.

They discovered that the interiors of the car were grey, while the exterior was white. Curious, they opened the glove compartment and found bits of evidence inside.

Later, they came to know the car was used to reach the spot. While the assassins managed to get the vehicle painted “Franko white” for matching the colour of government-owned cars to make access to the secretariat easy, the moisture in the air due to rains prevented them from getting the car touched from inside.

This is not all. Talk to the investigators, witnesses and even assassins; and they tell you strange tales of intrigue, conspiracy and coincidences, which even a master of macabre could not weave so dexterously. Some of the stories are not part of the court record, but have been gathered during the trial covered over a period spanning three years.

Soon after the car’s discovery, the investigators launched a massive search for the number plate painter. The lines drawn with thread dipped in blue (neel) for aligning the letters and digits on the plate indicated that it had been painted freshly. The search took them to Mohali.

In the meantime, car painter-cum-prime witness Surinder Sharma saw the snaps of the vehicle flashed in all newspapers. Apprehensive, he was still contemplating future course of action when a cop arrived for the replacement of his bike’s clutch wire. His presence made him jittery. Thinking that the cops had discovered the truth, he spoke out everything.





Police could have averted tragedy: HC

Chandigarh, October 12
Nearly 15 years after Punjab’s then CM was killed in a blast, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana today ruled the assassination could have been prevented, but for the Chandigarh Police.

For reaching the conclusion, the Bench of Justice Mehtab Singh Gill and Justice Arvind Kumar has referred to the incident dating back to August 1995, just about a week before the blast, when a cop stopped the assassins for traffic violation, but let them go without checking.

The Tribune was the first to report on March 18 that the Chandigarh Police could have unearthed the conspiracy to kill the CM a week before the blast.

Speaking for the Bench, Justice Gill asserted: “The conspiracy for the assassination of the former CM could have been nipped in the bud, if ASI Arun Kumar had been alert.

“On August 24, 1995, Balwant Singh and Jagtar Singh Hawara, while travelling on scooter PCB-2085 in Chandigarh, were stopped by ASI Arun Kumar. They did not have the necessary papers of the scooter. If on that day, the scooter had been searched, from the dicky he would have recovered the material that was used to make the bomb.

“All that the ASI did was to challan them and the challan slip was later on recovered from the house of Chamkaur Singh, brother of Dilawar Singh”. Information available on the judicial files suggests that human bomb Dilawar was using the scooter, but at the time of traffic violation, Balwant was driving it, and Hawara was riding pillion. As the number plate was not in order, the challan was issued to Balwant Singh. The cop later identified the two convicts. — TNS






It’s unfortunate, says Beant’s family
Dharmendra Joshi/TNS

Jalandhar, October 12
Late Punjab CM Beant Singh’s family has termed as unfortunate the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision of commuting Hawara’s death sentence to life term.

Beant Singh’s grandson and MP from Anandpur Sahib Ravneet Singh Bittu said he talked to CBI officials after the verdict and they told him that they would file an appeal in the Supreme Court against high court verdict.

Expressing hope that the apex court would uphold the trial court’s decision of awarding the capital punishment to Hawara, Bittu said it had been already proved that Hawara had instigated human bomb Dilawar to kill Beant Singh.





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