Manila murders no deterrent for Punjabi financiers’ biz dreams : The Tribune India

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Manila murders no deterrent for Punjabi financiers’ biz dreams

Manila murders no deterrent for Punjabi financiers’ biz dreams

Jagdish Singh Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Deepkamal Kaur

Jalandhar, June 11

The murder of a middle-aged Nurmahal man in Manila last week has once again stirred up a debate on why Punjabis still prefer to go to Manila and carry out finance business there when it continues to be unsafe for them.

On an average, one Punjabi man engaged in finance business gets killed every two months in Manila.

The murder of 45-year-old Jagdish Singh Chauhan is horrifying. A native of Bhandal Buta village in Nurmahal, he was reportedly abducted by some miscreants while he was riding a scooter to work. “He was bundled in a sack, which was fastened and thrown into the sea. His body was found a week later, partly decomposed,” said his cousin Jaswant Singh. The victim was into the finance business in Manila for the past over eight years. Even as his wife and three daughters are here, his last rites have been performed by his relatives in the Phillipines.

Jaswant said this was not the first case of murder in Manila in his immediate family. “My younger brother, Balwinder Singh, too, was gunned down in 2015. Just like we got no clue in Jagdish’s case, no one has been punished for Balwinder’s murder too. Even if there are eyewitnesses in Manila, there is so much fear of gangsters and contract killers that no one can dare take a name. Most such killings remain unresolved,” said Jaswant.

However, there is no stopping these young men from going to Manila. “All my siblings and first cousins are in Manila doing the same business,” said Lakhvir Singh of Mehsampur village in Jalandhar. This despite the fact that he had lost his brother Sukhwinder Singh (41) and his wife Kirandeep Kaur (33) in Manila. The couple was gunned by armed assailants at their place in March last year. Lakhvir, too, has moved to Manila.

It is common for men to move out alone to Manila, leaving behind families in Punjab over fear of crime incidents. However, in the past decade or so, even families have started moving along. A similar killing of a Punjabi couple engaged in the finance business was reported from Manila in 2013 too. Hailing from Jodhpur village in Barnala, Kulwant Singh and Charanjit Kaur were killed with sharp weapons.

Several killings in one year

March 20, 2024 Avtar Singh (35) of Ramgarh Sivia village in Ludhiana, who sold 10-12 acres of land to do finance business in Manila, killed there

Dec 13, 2023 Sukhchain Singh, son of former panch of Lande village in Moga, shot dead

Nov 28, 2023 Jaspreet Singh (28) of Rode village in Moga shot while going to the office on a bike

Nov 26, 2023 Gurdev Singh (58) of Khanna in Ludhiana killed in Manila

Aug 11, 2023 Nishan Singh of Randhawa village at Bholath in Kapurthala shot

March 28, 2023 Sukhwinder Singh (41) and his wife Kirandeep Kaur of Mehsampur village at Goraya in Jalandhar gunned down in Manila

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