LUDHIANA: On a day when police rounded up four youths in the pastor murder case, the Christian community threatened to launch an agitation if police failed to arrest the culprits by July 24.
Police rounded up the youngsters from Arjun Colony and Jageerpur village of Meharban area and conducted a massive search operation in the adjoining villages of Kakke, Bajrna and Bahadur K, suspecting that the killers were from these areas.
On July 14, two motorcycle-borne assailants shot pastor Sultan Masih with .32 bore pistol outside ‘Temple of God’ church when he was talking over the phone. The entire incident was captured in CCTV camera installed at the church.
On Saturday morning, more than 200 cops led by senior officials including additional deputy commissioner of police-I Jasdev Singh Sidhu, assistant commissioner of police (Sahnewal) Harkamal Kaur, assistant commissioner of police (east) Pawanjit Singh carried out search operation in Jageerpur and adjoining Arjun Colony for almost six hours and rounded up four people. Besides, the police also inquired about the people living in the area on rent and those with weapons.
A youngster from the village said, “The police showed us the CCTV footage and asked if we have seen anyone in our area. Besides, cops also asked about 6-ft men. The police also asked about the bikes and cars owned by villagers.”
“The police noted down names and mobile numbers of several villagers. They also asked not to give house or room on rent to any person without police verification,” said another man.
Those who were rounded up included a scrap dealer, worker at a welding shop and owner of the welding shop.
A woman from whose house a migrant was rounded up in Arjun Colony said, “He is friend of my husband and we knew him for the past 20 years. He had come here and I was preparing tea for him when police came and started questioning him and took him along.”
An official told, “The police suspect that the accused are from these localities. That is why police conducted search operation there.”
Police commissioner R N Dhoke said, “The police have started area-wise search operations to get to killers. On Saturday, we focused on different localities of Meharban area.
ADGP (law and order) Rohit Chaudhary met officials and took stock of the progress in the murder probe.
‘Give security to Masih’s family’
In the meeting organized by the Christian community at ‘Temple of God’ church in Peeru Banda Mohalla of Salem Tabri area, the Christian community has demanded security for the family of the pastor.
Representative of Christian community Albert Dua said, “If the police fail to arrest the killers of pastor by July 24 (on a day when the community service will be organized), the community would launch an agitation.”
He said, “Some time ago, a few pastors had received life threats following which they had demanded security. But police had ignored their demand.” He also stated that the community is dissatisfied with the police and government over the progress in the case.
Source: Times of INDIA