The day after the brutal murder of an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of Punjab Police by SAD leader Ranjit Singh Rana, the police arrested Rana and two others on Thursday.
The police have also recovered the black SUV in which the accused fled after killing ASI Ravinder Pal Singh in full public view.
Three weapons have also been seized from the accused. This includes the .315 bore rifle of Rana with which the ASI, who had gone to save his daughter from eve teasing, was murdered.
Rana was arrested from Rajoke village in Tarn Taran district. The two others arrested are Dharamveer Singh, who accompanied Rana when the ASI was murdered, and Prabhjit Singh. Prabhjit was booked for giving shelter to Rana and also under the Arms Act.
Two other accused, Sandeep and Gurbir Singh, are still at large.
Director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Saini, who was monitoring the entire operation, said, “This was a serious incident and as soon as it happened our primary duty was to nab the accused who shot dead our colleague.”
Giving details, the DGP said, “Various teams were formed and two IGs, one DIG, five SSPs and about 1,000 policemen were rushed to Tarn Taran district where the accused were present. Police parties rushed to Sohal village where the accused were taking shelter at the house of one Prabhjit Singh. As the police approached the accused, Rana fired at the police party and fled.
Later, they were spotted near Basrake village, but could not be nabbed. Finally, the accused were cornered in the border village of Rajoke near Khalra and Rana was arrested from there.”
He said three weapons were recovered from them. A .315-bore rifle was recovered from Rana, a pistol from Dharamveer and a .12 bore gun was recovered from Prabhjit Singh.
Answering a question about the safety of women in Punjab, especially after this incident, Saini said, “We have already said that this is a serious incident. This is not a law and order problem. We are strictly handling it and taking stern action.”
When asked about the failure of Amritsar Police, especially Chehhertta SHO Ashwani Kumar, the DGP said, “As soon as the incident happened, we suspended the SHO. Now after a detailed probe about the role of the SHO, we have dismissed him.”
The SHO was reportedly dismissed on the orders of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal.
Saini said, “I have asked the Amritsar police commissioner to probe the role of other police officers also. Anyone found in the wrong would face action.”
When asked whether the incident had dented the morale of the police, the DGP said, “Our colleague has been shot dead and we know how to handle it.”
ASI Ravinder Pal Singh was murdered on Wednesday afternoon on the main road by the SAD leader and his three men. The ASI had stopped the Akali leader from teasing his daughter.
The weapon used by Rana to murder the cop was licensed. According to information, the licence was made in 2010 by the office of the Amritsar deputy commissioner. On being asked as to who recommended the arms licence for Rana, the DGP said the details were being looked into.
Amritsar police commissioner Ram Singh said, “We have got the file of the arms licence of Rana and are looking into the details.”
Since the licence was recommended by SHO Lopoke, SSP Amritsar (rural) PS Virk said the licence would be cancelled. On a question, the SSP said, “Since Rana had no case pending against him, we cannot take action against the SHO.”
3 accused in hospital with injuries
All three accused nabbed by the police have received injuries and are getting treatment at a Patti hospital. Though sources claimed that the police beat them up, a press release issued by the city police mentioned that the accused received injuries when they were on the run and jumped from rooftops at Rajoke village. A picture of SAD leader Ranjit Rana shows that he has an injury in the arm and leg whereas Dharamveer has an injury in the leg and Prabhjit in the arm.