June 30, 2022 9:17:52 pm
In a major crackdown on the violent gang culture in Punjab and neighbouring states, the Punjab Police have busted an inter-state gang jointly backed by gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi, who is the mastermind of Punjabi singer Sidu Moosewala’s murder, and Pakistan-based Harwinder Rinda, with the arrest of its 11 members, including five shooters, ADGP Anti-Gangster Task Force (AGTF) Promod Ban told reporters in Chandigarh Thursday. Nine weapons and five looted vehicles were seized in the operation carried out by the Jalandhar Rural Police.
The arrested have been identified as Mohd Yaseen Akhtar alias Jaisy Purewal of Nakodar, Jalandhar; Sagar Singh of Naya Shahar Badala in Mohali; Amar Malik of Samrala, Ludhiana; Navi of Lohian, Jalandhar; Ankush Sabharwal alias Paya of Nakodar, Jalandhar; Sumit Jaswal alias Kaku, of Una (HP); Amandeep alias Shooter of Phillaur, Jalandhar; Shiv Kumar alias Shiva of Phillaur, Jalandhar; Vishal alias Fauji of Nakodar, Jalandhar; Arun Kumar alias Mani Rana of Una (HP), who is already in jail; and Annu alias Pehalwan of Kapurthala. All the arrested are history-sheeters.
Ban, who was accompanied by SSP Jalandhar Rural Swapan Sharma, said that the group was involved in murder, attempt to murder, armed dacoity, organised extortion, dacoity, robbery, and drug smuggling in the neighbouring states. “With the arrests, the police have thwarted at least seven murders, two police custody escapes and four armed robberies,” he said.
The ADGP said that, as per preliminary investigations, Bishnoi’s gang was being operated by Vikram Brar, an associate of Goldy Brar, on the directions of Harwinder Singh alias Rinda. Brar, a classmate of Lawrence Bishnoi, is a resident of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan and is currently residing abroad and is wanted by the police of six states.
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According to police, Rinda is in Pakistan and is currently working with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). They said he had planned the recent rocket attack on Punjab police intelligence headquarters in Mohali.
Vikram Brar had made headlines recently after his name figured in the reports for sending a death threat to Bollywood actor Salman Khan.
SSP Swapan Sharma said that Mohamad Yaseen Akhtar has been missing since 2021. A prodigy of Brar and Lawrence, Akhtar has been involved in at least 16 criminal activities, he said.
He said that another arrested person identified as Ankush Sabarwal alias Paya, who has six criminal cases against him, was a student of Vikram Brar at an IELTS centre in Nakodar in 2014 and had been providing shelter to Pune-based gangster Saurav Mahakal of Maharashtra, who was arrested by the Pune police. Along with Mahakal, he committed three crimes during Mahakal’s two-month stay in Punjab.
The SSP said that Arun Kumar alias Mani Rana is a jailed gangster and is operating at the behest of the Lawrence-Jaggu Bhagwanpuria group. The arrested gang had planned Mani Rana’s escape from police custody during a court hearing in Una, Himachal Pradesh, he said, while adding that Sumit Jaswal alias Kaku has been arrested as he was actively involved in doing recce and organising logistics for this escape attempt. “With the arrest of this gang, the backbone of organised criminal activities in the Doaba region in general and Jalandhar in particular has been broken,” he said.
According to the police, 16 cases are pending against Mohammad Yaseen, including murder, and 11 FIRs against Arun Kumar pertaining to murder and dacoity, eight FIRs against Annu related to drug smuggling and Arms Act case.
The SSP said that the gang had planned seven killings, including two in Faridkot, one in Kapurthala, two in Nakodar, one in Hoshiarpur and another to execute a rape case accused in jail. They had also planned robbery at a jewellery shop, Western union office, and to get a jailed gangster, Arun Kumar, out of police custody when he would be taken out to court from Una and worked out a plot to set free jailed gangster Akashdeep Singh Pannu from Mohali during the court hearings.
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