Police on Wednesday arrested five persons in connection with the murderous attack on Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale.
Armed assailants had on Tuesday opened fire at preacher’s cavalcade near Ludhiana, killing his aide Bhupinder Singh.
Cops have also recovered four vehicles used in the crime. The accused have been identified as Manjit Singh of Dharampura, Ludhiana, Gagandeep Singh, Jaspreet Singh, both from Sahnewal, and Hardeep Singh of Malerkotla. Police have also rounded up Balkar Singh of Baba Bakala in Amritsar. Sources said he was driving one of the vehicles used by the attackers.
Police got vital leads in the case after scanning surveillance camera footage from a shop near the crime spot. Three shells of
.315 bore, one live bullet, rifle spring, baseball bats and a tent (used to set up a ‘chhabeel’) were also recovered.
Meanwhile, Bhupinder Singh was cremated at Dhakki Sahib in Khasi Kalan village in Ludhiana district amid tight security.
Dhadrianwale attended the cremation. Radical leaders Amrik Singh Ajnala, Dhyan Singh Mand, Baljit Singh Daduwal, AAP Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur, party leader HS Phoolka, CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi, independent MLA Balwinder Singh Bains and others were also present.
Talking to reporters after the cremation, Dhadrianwale said he had no idea who was behind the attack. The preacher said he was hopeful that police will solve the case soon. Mand and Daduwal said Sikh preachers are being targeted by anti-social elements.
In two video messages, Dhadrianwale has appealed to his supporters to maintain peace.
2 bullets pierced through follower’s head: Autopsy
The autopsy of Dhadrianwale’s aide was held at the Ludhiana civil hospital. According to the postmortem report, two bullets pierced through Bhupinder’s head. One of the bullets hit him just above the neck and pierced the skull. The second bullet injury was near his left ear.
NOTE: An earlier version of this report said five people had been arrested; an update since has corrected the number to four.