NRI held for ramming SUV into Attari gates

Attari (Punjab)/ Islamabad, Nov 16 (IANS) In a major security breach, an NRI crashed his SUV into the security gates at the Attari joint check post (JCP) early Monday and reached the zero line at the international border between India and Pakistan.

Non-Resident Indian Surinder Singh Kang was apprehended by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel for rammming his sports utility vehicle into the first gate at 3.50 a.m. and then driving till the next gate, about 800 metres ahead, towards the international border. He then crashed his vehicle into the second gate.

The vehicle stopped only after hitting the Pakistani gate at the border after crashing through the Indian side of the gate.

A report from Pakistan said the Pakistan Rangers took up the matter with the BSF officials after the SUV damaged the gate on the Pakistan side as well. The report claimed that the SUV entered Pakistan territory.

The BSF and police sources said that the NRI appeared drunk.

Kang was questioned by security agencies and later handed over to the Indian police. The NRI was booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other charges.

“After preliminary questioning, he was handed over to police for further investigation. Police authorities and other agencies are enquiring the matter,” BSF deputy inspector general (DIG) R.S. Kataria said.

The NRI, 42, a Canadian citizen and has been living in Surrey, British Columbia, since 1995.

Kang belongs to Adharman village of Punjab’s Jalandhar district. He arrived in India on November 9 on a five-month visa.

“All gates were closed at that time and it was dark. It is a serious security breach that he managed to reach up to the zero line. The incident is being investigated,” a BSF officer posted in the area told IANS.

Pakistan daily Dawn quoted security sources as saying that the Pakistan Rangers have asked the BSF authorities to conduct an inquiry into the incident.

The report also quoted witnesses as saying that the gate at Attari on the Indian side was “badly damaged” due to the crash while the Wagah gate on Pakistan side was partially damaged.

The SUV was confiscated by Pakistani officials after it entered Pakistani territory, it said.

Another report, however, said the seized vehicle was later returned on the request of BSF authorities.

The SUV bears a Chandigarh registration plate (CH 03 U 1685), Kataria said.

The Attari-Wagah Joint Check Post (JCP) is located around 30 km from Amritsar.

The JCP is visited by hundreds of people from both countries every evening before sunset to witness ‘Retreat’ ceremony. The JCP is also used for movement of people and goods.

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