On Monday, the Basti Jodhewal police arrested a 30-year-old man named Ajay Kumar, accused of murdering one Arhtiya (commission agent) Gharjit Singh Chaudhary in 2018. Following the murder, he assumed a new identity and started working as a Christian pastor.
As per reports, Kumar, and his brother-in-laws Yograj and Vishal had provided an illegal murder weapon to one Gaurav Goru to kill Gharjit Singh Chaudhary at a vegetable market on June 28, 2018. Goru had snatched money from the victim in Phillaur, post which a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against him. It later culminated into a rivalry that took Chaudhary’s life.
While all accused were nabbed, Kumar had managed to flee. He went absconding from the law enforcement authorities for a span of 2.5 years and had fled to Palampur in Himachal Pradesh. Meanwhile, the accused assumed a different identity and graduated with a college degree. He also worked as a pastor in Mission Compound Church in Jandiala Guru.
The Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police-I Deepak Pareek said at a news conference here that during preliminary interrogation, he told the police that fearing arrest, he had gone to Palampur in Himachal Pradesh where he was pursuing a BTH course and lived under an assumed name and identity. Later, Ajay Kumar shifted his place of residence to Jandiala Guru and served as a pastor in Mission Compound Church there.
Christian priest arrested following a tip-off
Ajay Kumar visited his family in Ludhiana on several occasions and would change his appearance every time to evade suspicion. While speaking about his arrest, Additional Deputy Police Commissioner Deepak Pareek said that the police received a tip-off about Kumar working as a Christian priest at a church in Jandiala Guru. As such, they conducted raids at the church premises and arrested the accused. “The accused had also confessed that he, along with his brother-in-law Vishal, had provided the murder weapon to the prime accused Gaurav, alias Goru, who had committed a murder in broad daylight,” he added.
Kumar, a resident of Ashiana Colony in Jassiyan village of Ludhiana, is accused under Arms Act (Sections 25/27/54/59) and Indian Penal Code Sections 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 302 (murder), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (criminal intimidation). He was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) on August 20, 2019, by a Court. Reportedly, the accused had applied for anticipatory bail but when the Court directed him to join the police investigation in 2018, he fled.