Patiala ‘murder’: Mayor resigns but not arrested

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Patiala Mayor Jaspal Singh Pardhan on Monday tendered his resignation following his alleged involvement in the murder of a 28-year-old married woman, Parampreet Kaur. The mayor along with the victim's husband and her mother-in-law had been booked for murder.

The mayor's resignation comes in the wake of the directions issued by Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal. Sukhbir had asked the mayor to resign from the post immediately in view of the case registered against him.

However, even after two days of the mayor facing murder charges, he has not been arrested. The police have not even questioned him, say sources. The other two accused — the victim's husband Harpreet Singh and her mother-in-law Paramjeet Kaur — were arrested on Sunday.

In a related development, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has formed a three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the murder. IG (crime) Shashi Prabha Trivedi is heading the team. The other two members are DIG R K Jaiswal and SP Balbir Singh. IG (Patiala) Paramjit Singh Gill and SSP Gurpreet Singh Gill are assisting the team, which has been asked to carry out the probe impartially and submit its report at the earliest.

On Monday, the SIT members visited the family of the accused at their residence in Harinder Nagar. The family told the SIT members that Pardhan was present at the victim's bedside when she was murdered and his direct involvement in the alleged murder could not be ruled out.

"I received a call from my brother around Sunday noon that I should reach my daughter's place. When I reached there, I saw her lying on the bed with a bedsheet on her. I touched her and realised that she was cold. Pardhan was standing near the head while her husband and mother-in-law were standing on either side of the bed. I told them that she be rushed to a hospital immediately but Pardhan said that he had called a doctor at home and there was no need to take her to the hospital," said Amarjit Singh Sodhi, the victim's father.

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