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Police Arrest Sant Daduwal On Murder Charges

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Police arrest Sant Daduwal on murder chargesTNN Sep 10, 2002, 12.06am ISTBATHINDA: An unsavoury controversy shrouded Sant Baba Baljit Singh Daduwal, a renowned preacher of the area, after he was arrested by the Bathinda police on Sunday evening for murder and abduction.

The Baba, who is known for his proximity with Baba Sarbjot Singh Bedi of Sant Samaj and Gurcharan Singh Tohra, had allegedly attempted to kidnap and kill one Jagsir Singh of Tungwali village, who was ''spreading canards" against the Baba.

Interestingly, Jagsir Singh was a staunch follower of Sant Daduwal who has a considerable following in Punjab and Haryana. Jagsir alleged that he left the Baba once he saw him in a compromising position with a woman in his dera situated in Kot Shamir village, about one-and-a-half years back. ''Since then, the Baba and his followers are preying on me," alleged Jagsir.

''When I was returning to my village after selling fodder at Bathinda, the Baba and his seven followers, armed with weapons, started chasing me in a Tata Safari. The Baba was in Bathinda to attend a seminar organised by the Sant Samaj. To save my life I entered the Bathinda cantonment area and was followed by the Baba and his followers. However, they were all taken into custody by military jawans and handed over to the Bathinda police," he said.

Acting on a complaint by Jagsir Singh that the Baba was trying to eliminate him so that he could not reveal his misdeeds to thousands of his followers, the police registered a case under sections 341, 365, 506, 511, 148, 149, IPC ( kidnapping and assault) and sections 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act. The police recovered a .12 bore double barrel gun and 22 live cartridges from Baba and his followers.

Some political leaders of the area, who got to know that Sant Daduwal was in police custody, rushed to his rescue, but the police was bent on taking legal action against him. The police, fearing that the Baba's followers would stage a dharna in front of the Cantonment police station, produced him at the residence of the duty magistrate who remanded him to judicial custody till September 21. Immediate after the Baba was shifted to Central Jail, Bathinda, he complained of chest pain and was transferred to Civil Hospital, Bathinda.

Talking to Times News Network at the hospital, the Baba denied the allegation, saying that Jagsir was trying to mislead his followers by levelling false allegations. ''I had no intention to cause any harm to Jagsir Singh. only wanted to ask him why he was harbouring ill-will against me, said the Baba, alleging that he was entangled in a false case at the instance of SAD (B) leaders.

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