Death sentence to child serial killer in Punjab

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Jalandhar, Jan 7 (UNI) A local fast track court today pronounced capital punishment to a 'serial killer' who unleashed a reign of terror killing nearly two dozen children of families of migrant labourers.

I S Bajwa, Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court pronounced the death sentence for Darbara Singh in the case pertaining to the murder of two boys, aged five and six years respectively. Nearly a dozen cases pertaining to the murder, rape and sodomy of girls and boys are still pending against him in the courts.

Rakesh Kaushal, SP, who led the special investigation team and arrested Darbara Singh said that it was a major achievement of the prosecution that Darbara was convicted for murdering the children.

In 2004, a total of 23 children, mostly below the age of 10, had gone missing from various parts of the city. Of them six were recovered by the police.

The abduction's began in March 2004, when two sisters, Asha and Diksha, were abducted from the Company Bagh here.

Darbara was arrested by the police in the last week of October 2004 and he confessed to have killed 17 children--- 15 girls and two boys. In the fit of rage he had even tried to rape or sodomise the victims after murdering them.

Darbara Singh, an ex-serviceman, nurtured a grudge against migrant labourers, as he felt that it was because of a migrant labourers family of Kapurthala that he had to waste many years of his life in jail. In 1997, he was sentenced to imprisonment by a Kapurthala court for 30 years for allegedly raping and attempting to murder a daughter of a migrant labourer. But in 2003, he was released from the Ludhiana jail for his 'good conduct'.

The 55-year-old Darbara Singh had admitted before the police that he had dumped the bodies of most of his victims near a bridge on the Rayya-Khadoor Sahib road in Amritsar district after subjecting them to rape or sodomy. He originally was a resident of Jallupur Khaira village near Beas in Amritsar district.

He was believed to have lobbed a hand grenade at the house of his senior officer, Major V K Sharma, after having an altercation with the latter while he was posted at Air Force Station at Pathankot in 1975. The wife and teenaged son of the officer were seriously injured. He was arrested but acquitted after the trial.

He was arrested in three cases of attempt to murder and rape in 1997 by the Kapurthala police and was subsequently sentenced by the court to undergo imprisonment for 30 years. From Kapurthala he was shifted to the Jalandhar Central Jail and then to the Ludhiana Central Jail where he spent five years before he was released on December 3, 2003 on the basis of his mercy petition.

After his release Darbara Singh came to the city and took a room on rent in Model House locality and started working in a factory in the Leather Complex area. It was during this period that hestarted targeting children of families of migrant labourers.

UNI DP-HS JMK1938

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