Birmingham & Black Country

Ranjit Singh Power murder: Friend is wanted by police

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Media captionRanjit Singh Power went missing in May 2015

The best friend of a UK businessman who went missing in India has been named by police as a suspect in his murder.

Hotelier Ranjit Singh Power, from Wolverhampton, disappeared while on a business trip to Punjab last year.

A taxi driver has confessed to his murder, but police in India want to arrest his business partner, Baldev Singh Deol, also of Wolverhampton, who is thought to be in the UK.

Mr Power's family say they want answers about his final days and justice.

Despite Interpol issuing an arrest warrant, an extradition notice submitted to the Indian Central Bureau for Investigation has not been processed, meaning police officers in England have not yet been asked to act.

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Mr Power, who ran the Park Hall Hotel in Wolverhampton, was last seen at an airport in Amritsar on 8 May 2015. He was reported missing when he did not contact his family for a week.

Taxi driver Sukhdev Singh, who was arrested in Punjab last May, remains in custody.

BBC's India correspondent Sanjoy Majumder previously said local detectives believed he was acting at the behest of someone else which may have something to do with Mr Power's business dealings in India and the UK.

Image copyright Interpol
Image caption An arrest warrant for Baldev Singh Deol, from Wolverhampton, has been issued by Interpol

Mr Deol, a Power family friend of 30 years, is believed to be in the UK, Punjab Police said. His arrest warrant has been featured on Interpol's website.

Police in the West Midlands say they have not had any approach from police in India for assistance.

Mr Power's brother, Amrik Singh Power, said although he was frustrated by the delay in extradition, he felt "relieved" over the Indian police efforts.

"What started off as anger and then frustration, is kind of like relief," he said.

"It's not going to bring my brother back. We didn't have a funeral, we didn't have Ranjit's body.

Image caption Amrik Singh Power appealed for anyone with information about the murder of his brother to come forward

"But at least with some answers as to why he went out there, we feel relieved that we are nearly there."

Local police have yet to find the 54-year-old's body but are treating his death as murder.

In October, his daughter said a body returned to the UK by Punjab police was not her father's.

The corpse, found in an Indian river, was initially thought to be that of Mr Power but DNA and dental analysis ruled out a match.

Amrik Singh Powar, of Punjab Police, said: "The offence was committed here, but they are citizens from the UK. So both countries [are] involved in this case.

"I am confident it will be moving to a conclusion now."

West Midlands Police said it would "assist with any inquiries should a request be made."

The Foreign Office said it was providing support to Mr Power's family. The Home Office would not comment on whether an extradition request had been made.

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