Amritsar/Lahore, November 16
A speeding sports utility vehicle (SUV), driven by a Canada-based NRI, crashed into the Wagah-Attari border gate early on Monday.
NRI Surinder Singh Kang was taken into custody by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel after he rammed his sport utility vehicle into the first gate around 3.30 a.m. and then drove to the next gate, about 800 metres ahead towards the international border. He then rammed his vehicle into the second gate.
The vehicle came to a stop after ramming into the Pakistani side of the border gate.
The incident raised caution among border officials, and led to the Punjab Rangers writing a letter to the Border Security Forces (BSF) seeking an inquiry into the incident, security sources said.
The crash left the gate at Attari “badly damaged” while the Wagah gate was partially damaged, witnesses at the site said.
The driver was arrested by BSF officials, while his SUV was confiscated by Pakistani officials after it breached into the Pakistani territory, sources said.
The vehicle was returned upon request of the BSF, they added.
Kang was allegedly drunk when he drove his SUV into the gate at Attari, crossed the Zero Line, and crashed into the gate at the Pakistani side.
He was questioned by security agencies and later handed over to the police. The NRI was booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other charges.
The NRI, aged around 50, holds Canadian citizenship and belongs to Nakodar area of Jalandhar district.
“All gates were closed at that time. 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 said.
The Attari-Wagah JCP is located 30 km from the Sikh holy city of Amritsar. Wagah, on the Pakistan side, is 20 km from the post.
(By arrangement with Dawn (Lahore) and with inputs from Tribune News Service)