A 22-year-old sharpshooter from the Kala Jathedi-Lawrence Bishnoi gang, who has been arrested for extortion, may also be involved in the murder of Punjab singer-politician Sidhu Moosewala, police said.
Moosewala was shot dead in Punjab’s Mansa last week. Jailed gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi, Kala Rana and Kala Jathedi have been accused of planning the murder with the help of Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar and are being questioned by the Special Cell.
Police Monday said the sharpshooter, Akshay Palda, is involved in 16-17 murder cases across Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. In Delhi, he is involved in an MCOCA case along with Bishnoi and Jathedi. In the case for which he has been arrested, he allegedly made extortion calls to a businessman demanding Rs 5 crore.
The complainant, a businessman in Karol Bagh, alleged that he was receiving calls from Palda, who has been lodged in Mandoli Jail since 2020. Palda was threatening to kill the complainant and was demanding Rs 5 crore. A case was registered and a team started looking for the caller.
DCP (Central) Shweta Chauhan said the caller had claimed he is a sharpshooter from the Bishnoi gang. She said, “We were looking for all gang members and made a list of the ones lodged in jail. It came to our notice that all calls were made from an international number using an internet app. Since it’s a VoIP call, the identity of the caller couldn’t be traced easily. The team analysed dump data from devices and found that the calls were made from Mandoli jail.”
Police found that the caller was also using a BSNL SIM card belonging to a shopkeeper based in Meerut. The accused was identified and on Sunday, police sent a team to Mandoli jail.
“Palda was interrogated inside the jail and he confessed he made the calls with the help of his associate, Naresh Sethi. Sethi is also a member of the Jathedi gang. The men were using an iPhone 12 mini which we recovered. Palda is also emerging as a suspect in Moosewala’s murder,” added DCP Chauhan.
Police sources said Palda’s role in “making calls” for the murder is being looked into. “We are verifying allegations. Following Jathedi’s instructions, he might have contacted his associates to target Moosewala. We are checking his call detail records for the same,” said a source.