By : Japjeet Duggal
The Chandigarh Police tracked down the criminals, two of whom it killed in an encounter in Moga on Wednesday night, by the number of their SUV and a mobile phone they had looted from Chandigarh.
An official said the criminals had come to Chandigarh in the same SUV when they beat up and sexually abused a youth in Sector 22 on Monday. While leaving, they took away the youth’s cell phone, the official said.
While investigating the youth’s FIR, the police found that the criminals were, audaciously enough, still using the mobile phone. After the phone’s location was found in Moga, a police team was sent there which got to know that the SUV had been seen in certain areas, sources said.
After tracking the car for about two days and gathering information, the police got to know that the accused were hardcore criminals. The team, therefore, called for back-up from Chandigarh on Wednesday evening.
In the exchange of fire at the Moga-Bagha Purana bypass, Sukhdev Singh alias Ghachha and Shinder Singh alias Gosha were killed while Sub-Inspector Rajdeep Singh and head constable Surinder Kumar were injured. The police also caught two gang members, identified as Gurcharan Singh alias Rinku and Simple, who were injured.
Sources said that the police were taken by surprise when they also came under fire from a Mitsubishi Lancer. Obviously, some gang members were in that vehicle. But the criminals were outgunned because, unlike them, the policemen had automatic weapons. Also, head constable Surinder Kumar showed uncommon alertness and presence of mind.
The post-mortem report showed that Sukhdev Singh alias Ghachha had 15 bullet injuries while Shinder Singh alias Gosha had nine bullet injuries.
Shinder Singh alias Gosha and Gurcharan Singh alias Rinku were two of the three men named as accused in the FIR which was lodged in Sector 22 on Monday. Sukhpal Singh, the third accused, escaped with five others in the Mitsubishi Lancer, sources said.
Moga SP H S Pannu said that “a Tata Sierra vehicle from which accused opened fire at police was confiscated” along with two weapons of 0.12 bore and 0.315 bore and a country-made pistol of 0.32 bore. Live cartridges were also found.
A magisterial inquiry was ordered into the incident. Pannu said Sub-Divisional Magistrate Mahinder Pal would conduct the inquiry. An FIR was lodged against the gang members at Moga South City police station on the complaint of Inspector Ranjodh Singh of the Chandigarh Police.
The two police officials who were injured in the shoot-out are undergoing treatment at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana. Both are now stated to be stable. Sub-Inspector Rajdeep underwent a surgery but his bullet was not removed. “The bullet was stuck in his spine and the doctors are waiting for his wounds to heal after which he will be operated upon,” said a police source.
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