The special team of Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU) of Punjab Police claimed to have arrested the ‘mastermind’ in the 2-kg gold loot in Ludhiana.
On January 29, four men had allegedly barged into a jewellery store, VK Jewellers at Ghumar Mandi of Ludhiana, and fled with 2-kg gold during the daytime.
An FIR in this matter was registered at the division number 8 police station against four unidentified persons for allegedly committing the robbery after holding the store owner and an employee as hostage at gunpoint. They had arrived in an SUV. Later, two arrests were made in the case.
The Punjab Police in a statement said that the accused “reportedly committed crime to mobilise funds for carrying out a spate of targeted killings as part of a pro-Khalistan agenda to disturb the state’s peace and communal harmony and spread mayhem”.
The police said that a special OCCU team arrested the most wanted gangster-terrorist, identified as Tejinder Singh alias Teja, son of Jujhar Singh of Mehadpur, SBS Nagar (Nawanshahr) district. He was arrested from Nawanshahr.
DGP Dinkar Gupta, in a statement, said that a set of Punjab Police uniform, along with an ID card of Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) were seized from Tejinder Singh. He was also the prime accused in the January 2020 car-jacking incident of a Toyota Fortuner from Kharar.
The accused allegedly planned to use the uniform and card to gain access to restricted areas for commission of various kinds of crimes, including terrorist actions, DGP Gupta said, adding that “he clearly posed a high-security risk to the state”.
The police also claimed recovery of a Chinese 30 caliber pistol, 10 cartridges and one Chevrolet Optra car from the arrested person. “Investigations have revealed that he had also prepared other fake ID cards such as Aadhaar card, driving licence from Noida (UP) in order to evade arrest. While being on the run, he stayed at different locations in Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana,” the DGP said in the statement.
“Tejinder, who had been arrested earlier too for involvement in more than 25 criminal cases, including murder, attempt to murder, car-jacking, dacoity etc further disclosed that he was radicalized and motivated to carry out targeted killings by some hardcore terrorists in whose contact he came during his stints in various prisons. He also revealed that he and his close associate Rachpal Singh from village Bhuchar Kalan (district Tarn Taran) were planning to loot bank cash van used to transport currency from main branches of State Bank of India (SBI) to ATMs in Maur and Talwandi Sabo. They had also checked out the route and conducted a recce for the same,” the police statement said.
“After his release from prison in December 2019, both Tejinder and Rachpal Singh (who was earlier in jail for his involvement in cross- border smuggling of drugs and weapons, and is now absconding in a recent case of murder in Tarn Taran district), had procured sophisticated weapons from across the border. They were also expecting a fresh consignment of automatic weapons/drugs,” the DGP said.
A criminal case was registered against Tejinder Singh and his associates at the State Special Operation Cell (SSOC), Mohali, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the statement said.
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