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Sidhu Moosewala case: Pune Rural police arrest suspect, aide from Gujarat; say linked with Lawrence Bishnoi gang

An official from the Pune Rural police said Santosh Jadhav, who shaved his head to change his appearance, was detained from Mandvi in Gujarat’s Kutch district by one of their teams Sunday night and that his police custody was secured later.

Sidhu Moosewala murder, Moosewala murder, Pune police, Moosewala murder suspect arrested, Pune news, Indian expressMoosewala was shot dead in Mansa district on May 29. (File)

The Pune Rural police have arrested a man, who has been named as a suspect in the murder of Punjabi singer and politician Sidhu Moosewala and is linked to the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, officials said Monday. An official from the Pune Rural police said Santosh Jadhav, who shaved his head to change his appearance, was detained from Mandvi in Gujarat’s Kutch district by one of their teams Sunday night and that his police custody was secured later.

Last week, the names of Jadhav, 23, and another Pune resident Siddhesh Kamble alias Saurav alias Mahakal had cropped up in the Moosewala murder case. The team has also apprehended Jadhav’s aide Navnath Suryavanshi, also believed to be linked to the Sidhu Moosewala case. Initially detained, Suryavanshi revealed the location of Jadhav. The arrests were made based on the information given by Kamble.

“All these suspects – Kamble, Jadhav and Suryavanshi – are linked to the Lawrence Bishnoi gang as per our primary probe. They have played a role in the Moosewala case,” said Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Kulwant Kumar Sarangal. “We are coordinating with the Delhi and Punjab police and are exchanging information,” added Sarangal.

Jadhav and Suryavanshi were produced before a court in Pune around midnight on Sunday and they were remanded in police custody till June 20.

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“Kamble had done recce of some location and targets for the Bishnoi gang,” said Sarangal added. “Kamble was aware a threat letter was being sent to [Bollywood actor] Salman Khan. We are probing some more information provided by him,” he also said.

Jadhav was earlier wanted by the Pune Rural police in connection with the brutal murder of criminal Onkar Bankhele alias Ranya from the Manchar area of Pune in August 2021. An official of the Pune Rural police said that they have arrested Jadhav in connection with Bankhele’s murder.

Jadhav, who hails from the Pokhari village in the Pune district, has as many as five cases registered against him with Pune Rural police, including those of murder, attempt to murder, and extortion. He has also been booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

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Kamble has already been arrested by the Pune Rural police from the Pune-Ahmednagar district border on charges of giving shelter to Jadhav after Bankhele’s murder when the police were looking for him.

Congress leader and singer Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu alias Sidhu Moosewala was gunned down near Mansa on May 29, days after the Punjab government reduced his security cover along with many others in the state. The Punjab Police had said 27-year-old Moosewala was shot at while he was driving his SUV in village Jawahar Ke in Mansa district along with two others. He was rushed to the Mansa Civil Hospital where he was declared dead.

First published on: 13-06-2022 at 08:29 IST
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