Despite rounding up 11 suspects in the murder case of Shaurya Chakra recipient Balwinder Singh Sandhu, the Tarn Taran police are yet to arrest the main conspirator, gangster Sukhmeet Pal Singh alais Sukh Bhikharipur, and the shooters — Bhura and Bhaa – in the case.
While police remain tight-lipped on the motive and maintain that so far there is no evidence to suggest terror angle, the main conspirator – Sukhmeet – it turns out is also named in the case of an attack on a Hindu outfit, Shiv Sena (Hindustan), leader in February this year.
A Shaurya Chakra recipient for fighting militancy in Punjab, Sandhu was gunned down at his home in Tarn Taran’s Bhikhiwind by two unidentified bikers on October 16. The attack took place months after his security cover removed by the state government. Sandhu’s family termed the killing a terror attack, and blamed it on the decision to remove his security. Persons arrested for his murder so far are Sukhraj Singh alias Sukha, Ravinder Singh alias Gian, Rajbir Singh from Nathupur, Ravinder Singh alias Ravi, Chand Kumar Bhatia, Akashdeep Singh , Ravi Kumar, Prabhdeep Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Manpreet Singh and Jagjeet Singh Jagga. None of them is the main conspirator or the shooter.
According to police, Sukh Bhikharipur had asked Ravinder Singh to execute the murder and rest of the persons helped the main shooters — Bhura and Bhaa — to go to the home of Balwinder Singh to kill him. Both are on run. Sukhmeet is known for carrying out murders for money.
He was earlier nominated in a case of attack on a Hindu outfit leader Honey Mahajan on February 10 this year. One person had died in that attack while Mahajan had survived despite being seriously injured. Mahajan had later alleged that it was a terror attack and Gurdaspur police too had supported his claim.
In fact, police had intially claimed terror funding from foreign countries for the attempt to murder Honey Mahajan. A Punjab Police commando posted in Amritsar, Prince, was among those arrested in the case.
Police had claimed that Prince had provided 20 live 7.6mm rounds to one Simranjit from Batala, but all the rounds were recovered and none of them was used to attack Mahajan.
Later in April, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta had claimed, “The investigation so far has revealed that the contract for the attack on Honey Mahajan was awarded by notorious gangster Sukhmeet Pal Singh alias Sukh Bhikhariwal. Sukhmeet Pal wanted to control the liquor business in Dhariwal area and he apprehended that Honey Mahajan could obstruct his plans.”
The DGP had also disclosed that Sukh Bhikhariwal gave the contract to Mandeep Singh alias Deep and Harjinder Singh alias Jinda, who then asked Jagmeet Singh, Lovepreet Singh and Rajinder Singh alias Nikku to carry out the crime.
Honey Mahajan said, “I have never been into liquor business. How can Sukh Bhikharipur or anyone try to kill me for something I am not interested in? I hadn’t even known that anyone named Sukh Bhikharipur existed before police come out with this theory. I always blamed terrorists for attack on me. Initially police also made similar claims. But then police came with this new theory….”
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