Family of murdered British hotelier claims Indian police sent wrong dead body to UK

Oct 07, 2015, 19:51 IST | PTI

London: The family of an Indian-origin British hotelier reportedly murdered during a visit to India have claimed that the Punjab police has sent the wrong body back to the UK.

Ranjit Singh Power was last seen at an airport in Amritsar on May 8, leading to a missing person's investigation until a decomposed body was found in a lake in Anandpur Sahib which was later identified by family friend Darshan Singh as that of Power.

However, the 54-year-old hotelier's daughter told BBC Hindi that dental records and DNA of the body flown to the UK did not match the family's samples.

"The DNA of my grandmother has not been sent to India as requested, because we found out that the body was not my father's so it was no longer necessary. We believe the body that was brought to the UK is now the responsibility of the coroner," said Emma Power.

Taxi driver Sukhdev Singh was charged with the murder of Power after Punjab police said he had confessed to the killing.

Senior Punjab police official Amrik Singh, who investigated the case, said they tested the DNA samples after recovering the body and sent it to London only after it was identified by Power's friend.

Police required the DNA sample of Power's mother to beable to match, a request conveyed to the British High Commission in Delhi.

Darshan Singh had admitted the corpse was in poor condition but was the right height and wore "exactly the same bangle" as the Wolverhampton-based businessman when he identified it in June. His UK-based family, including his partner Angela Bir, have stressed that her family is "focussed upon justice" for her father and are working with police in Punjab to help in any way they can.

They recently launched The Ranjit Singh Power Foundation Trust to support orphans and children with cancer in memory of the hotelier. They had feared he may have been kidnapped after he uncharacteristically failed to stay in contact with them and did not catch his return flight from Amritsar on May 14.

Initially offering 10,000 pounds for information leading to their father's return, they had later raised it to 25,000 pounds.

Power owned the four-star Ramada Park Hall Hotel in Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands region of England. Power had bought the Ramada Park Hall Hotel out of administration four years ago from its previous owners. He previously owned the Connaught Hotel in Wolverhampton before selling it in 2004.

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