Making its first breakthrough in the gruesome murder of singer-politician Sidhu Moosewala, the Punjab Police Tuesday arrested one person.
The accused, identified as Manpreet Singh Bhau (27), is a resident of Dhapyi village in Faridkot district. Manpreet has been accused of supplying vehicles to the assailants who were involved in the killing of Moosewala. As per the police, Manpreet was not among the attackers who had opened indiscriminate fire on Moosewala’s vehicle killing him at the spot.
Manpreet is cousin of another gangster Manpreet Singh Manna, who is lodged in Ferozepur jail and was on Monday brought to Mansa on production warrants for questioning, in Moosewala murder case . Manna is in jail for killing another gangster Kulbir Naruana.
According to sources in the police, Manpreet had given a white Toyota Corola car, owned by Manna, to the assailants. A CCTV footage had emerged on social media showing Moosewala’s vehicle being followed by the white car in Jawaharke village Sunday evening. The occupants of this car had first opened fire at Moosewala’s vehicle. Later another group of assailants, an a Mahindra Bolero car, joined the first group and started indiscriminate firing, killing Moosewala at the spot.
Manpreet has nine cases — under arms Act, and for kidnapping and murder — registered against him in Faridkot, Ropar and Muktsar. He was among six people detained from Dehradun on Monday while returning from Hemkund Sahib, a Sikh shrine located in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district. They were later brought to Punjab for interrogation in connection with Moosewala’s murder case.
Manpreet was produced in a Mansa court, which remanded him in five-day police remand. The police are expecting more information about the attackers from Manpreet.
The developments came even as the Aam Aadmi Party government, facing flak over the worsening law and order situation in Punjab, appointed 1993-batch IPS officer Ishwar Singh as the additional director general of police (law and order), a week after it had shifted Naresh Arora from the post.
“Ishwar Singh, additional director general of police, is hereby posted as ADGP Law & Order, Punjab,” an official order said.
Ishwar Singh was serving as the chief director of the state’s Vigilance Bureau, a post that has now been handed over to Varinder Kumar, who too is a 1993-batch IPS officer and had been serving as ADGP (Jails).
Moosewala was shot dead on Sunday by unidentified assailants in Punjab’s Mansa district, a day after his security cover was withdrawn by the state government.
The state police had termed the incident as a case of an inter-gang rivalry and had said the Lawrence Bishnoi gang was behind the murder. Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar, who is the member of Bishnoi gang, had claimed the responsibility of the murder.
According to police, Moosewala’s murder appeared to be in retaliation of youth Akali leader Vicky Middukhera’s killing that took place last year.
The name of Moosewala’s manager Shaganpreet had figured in the murder of Middukhera’s murder. However, Shaganpreet had fled to Australia, according to police.
Three shooters, identified as Sunny, Anil Lath and Bholu, all residents of Haryana, had been arrested by the Delhi Police special cell in connection with the murder of Vicky Middukhera while Shaganpreet was also nominated as accused in the FIR.