Eleven people involved in heinous crimes and backed by gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi and Harvinder Rinda have been arrested, a senior police officer said here on Thursday.
These history-sheeters were active in several neighboring states of Punjab and had been involved in crimes such as murder, attempt to murder, armed dacoity, organized extortion, robbery and drug smuggling, Additional Director General of Police, Anti-Gangster Task Force, Pramod Ban said here on Thursday.
”With their arrests, the Punjab Police has thwarted attempts of at least seven murders, two police custody escapes, and four armed robberies,” he added.
Nine weapons and five looted vehicles were recovered from their possession, Ban said.
Ban also said the arrested people had been conducting recces for the past few months and were nabbed before they could strike.
When asked if any prominent personality was on their target, the ADGP Ban said, ”I cannot indicate anything like that. But what I can tell you is their aim was to create unrest.” As per preliminary investigations, the ADGP said, the gang was being operated by Vikram Brar, an associate of Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar, under the direction of Harvinder Singh alias Rinda.
Brar, a resident of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, is currently residing abroad and is wanted by the police of six states. He was a classmate of Lawrence Bishnoi and is active on social media, Ban said.
That arrested hail from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. They are Mohammad Yaseen Akhtar alias Jaisy Purewal, Navi, Amandeep alias Shooter, Shiv Kumar alias Shiva, Ankush Sabharwal alias Paya and Vishal alias Fauji from Jalandhar; Sagar Singh from Mohali; Annu alias Pehalwan of Kapurthala; Amar Malik from Ludhiana; and Sumit Jaswal alias Kaku and Arun Kumar alias Mani Rana from Una in Himachal Pradesh, the ADGP said.
Giving out details about the arrested people, Senior Superintendent of Police, Jalandhar (Rural) Swapan Sharma said Akhtar alias Jaisy has been involved in at least 16 criminal activities.
Similarly, Ankush Sabarwal alias Paya has six criminal cases registered against him. He was a student of Vikram Brar at an IELTS center in Nakodar in 2014 and had been providing shelter and safe houses to Saurav Mahakal of Maharashtra, who was arrested by the police in Pune, recently.
Along with Mahakal, he committed three crimes in Punjab, the SSP said.
Sharma said Arun Kumar alias Mani Rana is a gangster operating at the behest of the Lawrence-Jaggu Bhagwanpuria group and they had planned Mani’s escape from police custody during a court hearing in Himachal Pradesh’s Una.
He said Sumit Jaswal alias Kaku has been arrested as he was actively involved in doing a recce and organizing logistics for this escape attempt.
”With the arrest of this gang, the backbone of organized criminal activities in the Doaba region (of Punjab) in general and Jalandhar, in particular, has been broken,” the SSP added.
All the arrests were made by the Jalandhar Rural police.
In the past two months, teams from Jalandhar Rural have arrested 32 people affiliated with various jailed gangsters across the state and recovered 38 weapons from their possession.
Replying to a question, Ban said the Punjab Police is working in close coordination with the Anti-Terrorism Squads of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, and Special Cell of the Delhi Police, ”and we keep sharing information regularly on various things”.