Three members of an inter-state gang of robbers have been arrested in connection with the murders of cricket Suresh Raina’s kin, said Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh as he declared the case “solved”.
Eleven other accused are yet to be arrested, DGP Dinkar Gupta said.
Raina’s uncle Ashok Kumar, a contractor, had died on the spot, while his son Kaushal Kumar succumbed to injuries on August 31 during a robbery bid at their Pathankot home. Kumar’s wife Asha Rani is in hospital in critical condition and two others injured in the attack had been discharged.
Soon after the incident, the chief minister had ordered the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under IGP Border Range Amritsar, with SSP Pathankot, SP Investigation and DSP Dhar Kalan as its members, to investigate the case thoroughly and expeditiously.
More than 100 suspected persons were examined during the investigation, according to DGP Gupta.
On September 15, the SIT received information that three suspects, who were seen at the Defence Road on the morning after the incident, were staying in jhuggis near the Pathankot Railway Station. A raid was conducted and all three were nabbed. A gold ring bearing the initials AK, a gold chain, Rs 1530 in cash, and two wodden sticks, presumbly used in the attack, were recovered from them. The accused have been identified as Sawan, alias Matching, Muhobbat, and Shahrukh Khan, all residents of Chirawa and Pilani jhuggis in Rajasthan.
Initial probe revealed that they were operating as a gang along with others and had committed similar crimes earlier in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and various parts of Punjab.
On the night Raina’s family was attacked, at around 7-8 pm, the gang moved in groups of 2 or 3, as per their modus operandi, and reached a designated spot in an open field. After the robbers failed to land anything substantial in the first two locations they had targetted, they entered Ashok Kumar’s home using a ladder. When they saw three people lying on mats, the suspects hit them on the head before moving through the house, attacking others and escaping with cash and gold ornaments, the DGP said.
The accused then escaped in groups of twos and threes to reach the railway station. After distributing the cash and jewellery among themselves, they dispersed.
Further investigations are in progress to arrest the 11 absconders, including one identified person, and solve other robberies in which the gang members were involved.
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