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Former Punjab cop accused in blast case arrested

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Santokh Singh Bajwa in Chandigarh police custody on Saturday.Photo: Akhilesh Kumar
Santokh Singh Bajwa in Chandigarh police custody on Saturday.Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

A former Punjab Police officer who had also won a gold medal at the National Games has been arrested for alleged involvement in a 27-year-old blast case, police said on Saturday.

The blast took place in a moving State-run bus in the Shahbad area of Kurukshetra in 1985 killing two passengers and injuring several others.

The accused, Santokh Singh Bajwa, fled after the blast and was later declared a proclaimed offender by the court on September 24 the same year, they said.

However, three of his accomplices -- Gurbaksh Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Pritam Singh -- were arrested by the Haryana Police on May 10, 1985.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of the Chandigarh Police nabbed Bajwa when he was going to Kharar in Punjab to meet someone in his car late on Friday night, they said.

A .30-bore pistol and a 12-bore rifle along with two live cartridges were also recovered from him, they said, adding that the accused had adopted a fake identity of Balwant Singh during this long period to hide himself in public. On further interrogation, Bajwa revealed that he was an athlete who had won a gold medal in the Nationals held at Allahabad in 1963.

The accused said that he was later recruited in the Punjab Police as an ASI through sports quota the same year. However, he quit the job after one year and later joined as hostel superintendent at ITI Samrala in Ludhiana district in 1965. Bajwa also went to Canada where he worked for two years in a Park-Davis medicine factory. - PTI


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