March 21, 2009 12:23:15 am
Kingpin a former cop,railway staff held for giving fake passes to accused
The Delhi Police has detected a terror link in the spate of bank robberies,reported across the National Capital and NCR in the past few months. According to P N Agarwal,Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell),there is evidence to link the involvement of pro-Khalistan groups like the Khalistan Commando Force (Panjwar Group) and the Babbar Khalsa International in the robberies reported since July 2008.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested four members of the interstate gang of bank robbers,including its kingpin Baljinder Singh,believed to be in active touch with members of Khalistan Commando Force (Panjwar Group). He is a former officer of the Punjab Police.
A Personal Assistant (PA) to Executive Director of Signal Development (EDSD) posted with Indian Railways in Rail Bhawan,Delhi,Sachin Kumar (36) has also been arrested. He provided fake railway passes to members of the gang.
The police said Baljinder Singh (40),Raj Kumar Sharma (38),Sachin Kumar (36),and Gajender Singh (27) were arrested over the last fortnight for their involvement in the Oriental Bank robbery in Gurgaon in 2008 from where they decamped with Rs 1.48 crore.
Gajinder and Raj Kumar were arrested from Rohini after a brief gun battle on March 8. Kumar said during interrogation that Baljinder was the gang leader. Upon checking records,police found Baljinder had been arrested by Meerut Police for attempt to murder and was out on bail. He was arrested by the Special Cell on March 12. Sachin,the railway employee,was arrested on Thursday. Baljinder had worked with various gangs. He had escaped thrice from police custody and is also associated with the Khalistan Commando Force (Panjwar Group), Agarwal said.
The police claim to have recovered three foreign pistols with cartridges and four Punjab Police uniforms from them. Baljinder had served as a Special Police Officer in Punjab Police from 1992 to 1998. In 2001,he took to crime and was caught red-handed while pick-pocketing at Old Delhi Railway Station. After his release,he joined a dismissed head constable of the Punjab Police,Joginder Singh,and formed a gang, Agarwal said.
The gang committed six robberies in Himachal Pradesh,Rajasthan and Haryana. Baljinder was arrested by the Punjab Police in August 2003. In January 2004,he managed to escape while being escorted from Bhatinda jail to Karnal,Haryana. He then shifted to a rented accommodation in Meerut and reorganised his gang. After a spate of robberies he was again arrested by Rajasthan Police with Joginder Singh. In Ganga Nagar Jail,the duo tried to flee by scaling the wall and while Baljinder succeeded,Joginder was shot dead by the cops.
In the jail,he had met one Harchand,who introduced him to dealing in fake currencies. Around this time he also met a close associate of Paramjeet Singh of the Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) and became a member of the smuggling wing of the KCF.
In 2006,Baljinder was arrested in Amritsar. He had taken on a fake identity. Large quantities of heroin and fake currency were recovered from him. He was sent to Amritsar jail from where he escaped with the help of one Raju Bihari , Agarwal said.
With the arrest of the four accused,the police claimed to have cracked five cases of robbery or attempted bank robbery including the February 13 robbery attempt at the Minto Road branch of the Oriental Bank of Commerce.
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