A day after the police busted a gang of ATM thieves with the arrest of five, they arrested three undergraduates, one of them a national-level athlete, and a school student for helping the gang in a carjacking in Patiala, on Wednesday.
The accused have been identified as Sampat Nehra, a national-level silver medallist and resident of Sector 26, Chandigarh; Parveen Kumar, a native of Rohtak and resident of Sector 26; and Pankaj Jakhar, a native of Bhiwani in Haryana, who lived in Manimajra. All are in their twenties. The fourth accused is a juvenile.
Confirming the development, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurmeet Singh Chauhan during the interrogation, Sonu Singh and Rakesh Kumar, the accused arrested on Tuesday, had revealed that the undergraduates had accompanied them for snatching a Toyota Innova in Patiala on January 11, while the juvenile had introduced them to the students.
Following the disclosure statements of the duo, the SSP said, a police team left for Chandigarh and arrested all four from Parveen’s apartment in Manimajra, adding that further investigation to establish the involvement of more people was on.
The top cop said Nehra, the son of a Chandigarh Police ASI, was pursuing BA first year at DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, while Parveen was a distance-education student of Lovely University, Jalandhar.
Pankaj is a student of bachelors of science at Khalsa College, Sector 26, Chandigarh, while the juvenile is a Class-12 student at DAV School, Sector 8, Chandigarh, and a state-level hockey medallist.
The three undergraduates and Sonu and Rakesh had hired a Toyota Innova taxi to travel from Patiala to Chandigarh. On the way, they beat up the taxi driver and drove away with the vehicle with the plan of striking an ATM in Jind, Haryana. The SSP said while on their way to Jind, the taxi developed a snag, puzzling the accused, who left the vehicle behind.
The vehicle was recovered soon after.
Others arrested on Tuesday are Satyawan, Mandeep Maur and Kausar. Sonu, Rakesh and Satyawan are residents of Sangrur; while Mandeep Maur is a native of Haryana and Kausar is a native of Uttar Pradesh.
Chauhan added that all nine accused were on Wednesday produced before a court that sent them to police custody till January 22.