Navy officer's mysterious death: Son claims siblings killed father for property
Three of the deceased's sons and three others booked after retired Navy lieutenant's youngest son alleges his elder brothers killed their father over their greed for family property
Did an ex-Navy lieutenant die of a fall in the bathroom or because his sons and relatives killed him over a property tussle? The Kharghar police will seek answers to just that, after the Panvel judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) court on July 2 ruled in the favour of the deceased's youngest son, and directed them to file a murder case against three other sons and three relatives. The case was finally registered on July 7.
The court was acting on the case of merchant navy captain Jagjit Singh, 47, who has alleged his brothers Kuljit Singh, 58, Kuldeep Singh, 54, and Kulmit Singh, 50, and three other relatives killed his father, ex-Navy lieutenant Sarjit Singh Virk, 86, at Kharghar on April 16.
Smelled a rat
Jagjit smelled a rat soon after his brothers called him around 10.47 am on April 16, to inform him that their father had died after falling in the house. A grief-stricken Jagjit was not in the condition to listen to anything immediately after getting the tragic news.
Sarjit Singh with wife Anup Kaur
"But after gaining composure," he told mid-day, "I called Kulmit asking how he [Sarjit] passed away. Kulmit passed the phone to our brother Kuldeep. While he was speaking, Kulmit kept prompting him to tell me that father fell inside the bathroom and succumbed to his injuries."
"I was in Mohali. My brothers said they will take some time to complete the formalities, and that I shouldn't rush to Kharghar. The next day, I got a text message from Kulmit saying they're going to perform my father's final rites. I begged them to wait until I reached through text and WhatsApp messages, and also called the pradhan of the Kharghar Gurudwara and Kharghar cops to tell them about my situation and my objection to the final rites. As a result of that, they waited till I reached Kharghar," Jagjit added.
Injuries on the face
On April 18, Jagjit went to the Kharghar police station, where cops showed him the post-mortem reports and other documents. He was then taken to the mortuary of the Vashi municipality hospital to see his father.
That's where Jagjit saw injuries on his scalp and cheek and three broken teeth. He clicked some pictures. "When I saw the injuries, I was confident that these marks were not caused by some accidental fall; he was hit by something. I had a word with cops, but they refused to entertain my grievances, so I went to court," added Jagjit.
Greed for property
Jagjit's suspicions against his brothers are based on a history of rifts he's had with them over their alleged greed for family property. According to his statement to the cops, Jagjit said, "In 2015, my mother Anup Kaur passed away. She'd distributed her property and some money equally among her four sons, but my brothers Kulmit and Kuldeep siphoned them off. Also, from October 2016 to February 2017, they forced my father to transfer Rs 26 lakh from our joint account to their accounts. I had filed a criminal case against them in Lambi police station, Punjab on April 11for the same."
"Also, my father was witness to attempts made by the same brothers to transfer my share of ancestral land to their name. In the meantime, they took father to Kharghar last year and cut off our communication. After he moved there, the only thing I heard about him was news of his death. I am suspicious of my brothers and other relatives having killed my father to hide their wrongdoings," alleged Jagjit. mid-day reached out to Kulmeet Singh Virk for comment, but he remained unavailable.
Jagjit had gone to the cops with his allegations, but they'd turned him down, after which he went to court. His advocate Naresh Pradhan said, "We'd gone to the Panvel JMFC with whatever proof we had, presented our case and told the court that an investigation needs to be done. The court found substance in our demands and asked Kharghar cops to investigate the matter."
Senior inspector of Kharghar police station, Pradeep Tadir, said, "According to the direction of JMFC, we have filed a case against Kuljit Singh, Kulmeet Singh, Kuldeep Singh and three other relatives under sections 302 (murder) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code on July 7. We'll ask for a detailed opinion from our forensic experts to seek clarity. The primary report had suggested that the death was natural and occurred due to a fall."
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