By: MIAN DAWOOD
LAHORE: Rajvindar Kaur Gill, a millionaire Sikh woman, who came to Pakistan from Canada to attend a diamond exhibition on August 25 and went missing the same day, was in continuous contact with an anchor associated with a private news channel of Pakistan, her family members disclosed.
TV anchor Iqbal Hussain, however, denies any involvement in her abduction, saying she was just his social media friend and he had never met her.
While hearing a petition moved by her father, the Lahore High Court on Monday expressed dismay over the country’s intelligence agencies, including police, for their failure to recover her despite the lapse of four months. The LHC ordered Capital Chief Police Officer (CCPO) Aslam Tareen to appear in person on Wednesday (tomorrow) to inform the court of the steps taken for recovering the Sikh woman who was a banker by profession.
The CCPO on Monday tried to save his skin by submitting an unclear report, just stating, “Neither any FIR has been registered against the woman nor is she wanted by the police in any case.” Justice Sheikh Najamul Hassan rejected the police report and ordered the CCPO to ensure his appearance on January 2 (Wednesday).
During the course of hearing, the missing woman’s father, Sikandar Singh, through Advocate Aftab Ahmed Bajwa, ddemanded a probe against TV anchor Iqbal Hussain and others who were in contact with her through SMS.
Singh, quoting the telephone record, annexed with the petition, told The Nation outside the court premises that Rajvinder Kaur Gill talked to Iqbal Hussain by sending and receiving dozens of SMS and also by calls before travelling to Pakistan. The calls’ record showed that she talked through SMS on four mobile numbers operating in Pakistan, however, most of the SMS were sent and received on the TV anchor’s number, her father added.
Singh did not hold Iqbal Hussain responsible in a direct way over the matter and said, “I just want users of such numbers to be investigated.”
A family member of Rajvindar, who has also reached Pakistan in search of her, says she has 5 million US dollars in her Switzerland’s bank and was keen on collecting diamonds and precious stones as well. “We are relatives of Sukhbir Singh Badil, deputy chief minister of Indian Punjab,” he said. “We have also prayed to the court to direct the police to probe them,” Singh’s lawyer said, adding it was a matter of the woman’s life.
On the other hand, Iqbal Hussain admitted, talking to this scribe, that Rajvinder remained in his contact for about two months and 28 days, but he had nothing to do with her abduction or going missing.
“I have clarified the entire situation to the Canadian High Commission and also handed them over all the conversation record, including facebook, for their satisfaction,” Hussain said.
Replying to a query, the TV anchor said she had not contacted him after her arrival in Pakistan, but before coming here, she had asked him to arrange a visit to Hassan Abdal, a religious place for Sikhs in Pakistan, for her and her three to four friends, he added.
“I am ready to face any consequence and undergo any punishment if my involvement in the case is proved,” Hussain offered. He maintained that he had many fans on social media because he was a journalist and had been associated with this profession for more than 20 years. “Will you probe me if one of my fans outside Pakistan is abducted or murdered?” he questioned. However, he warned of filing a suit for damages in the court over frequent demands of a probe against him by Rajvindar’s family. “I have clarified the entire situation. I will file a suit for damages against them if the Sikh family does not refrain from involving me in the matter,” he warned. Importantly, Skindar Singh pointed out in his petition that Sukhbir Singh Badal, during his visit to Pakistan, had also taken up the matter with Shahbaz Sharif who had ordered the police to look into the matter, but to no avail.