With the arrest of four people on Tuesday, police claim to have solved the May 23 case in which seven robbers had killed a security guard on the Kotkapura bypass in Moga and taken away Rs 60 lakh from a taxi moving the Oriental Bank of Commerce cash to nearby Baghapurana town.
Police claim to have seized Rs 7.5-lakh cash, two 0.32-bore pistols, 16 live cartridges, and a Maruti Swift car from accused Jagraj Singh “Jagga” of Butter Kalan and Baljinder Singh of Baghapurana’s Rajeana village.
FORMER DRIVER TIPPED THE GANG
Of the other two men arrested, Rinku of Rajeana is reported to have scouted the taxi and Ranjit Singh “Jeeta” of Smalsar is its former driver who is believed to have tipped the gang that the vehicle carried cash quite often.
Alleged kingpins Gagandeep Singh “Gagna” of Hathur and Manpreet Singh of Butter Kalan, besides accomplices Navdeep Singh of Butter Kalan, Lovepreet Singh of Hathur, and Rinku of Sudhaar, are on the run. Ferozepur range deputy inspector general of police (DIG) Ranbir Singh Khatra told the media how on the Budh Singh Wala-Rajeana link road near Sem Nullah, cops had flagged down the Swift car for checking but its occupants had tried to flee. “Accused Jagraj Singh was behind the wheel, with Baljinder Singh sitting adjacent. From each we seized a loaded pistol and Rs 1 lakh cash,” the DIG said.
Police claim to have also recovered another Rs 3 lakh of the heist money from Jagga’s house and Rs 2 lakh from Baljinder’s house. “They claim to have paid Rinku Rs 50,000 for reconnaissance. He is also under arrest and the cash has been recovered,” the officer said.
GANG TOOK AWAY RAIDING COP’S CAR
DIG Khatra accepted that the gang had taken over the Mahindra Xylo car of an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) after overpowering the cops who gone to raid a house at Butter Kalan village in Moga district during a hunt on May 24, a day after the robbery.
The embarrassed Moga police had tried to hide the incident after HT had brought it out first. Senior officials feigned ignorance about it and didn’t even mention it in the first-information report (FIR). Asked why, DIG Khatra said that it was a small matter, as robbery and murder were the main charges.
“He (Harjit Singh Pannu) is a young SSP (senior superintendent of police) and we must give him time before he starts to share things with you (reporters),” Khatra said, when asked why the Moga SSP had denied the incident.
Two of the gangsters had escaped in this stolen car around 5.30am on Tuesday after firing upon the fivemember raiding party of Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) led by ASI Pahara Singh.