Failing to crack the double murder of Dera Sacha Sauda followers at sect’s congregation centre in Jagera village near Malaudh, 40 km from Khanna, Punjab Police on Saturday announced a cash reward of Rs 50 lakh and a sub-inspector’s job to anyone who provides information about the killers.
Satpal Kumar, 65, and his son Ramesh Kumar, 35, were gunned down by motorcycle-borne assailants on February 25. Police are yet to identify the assailants, who even though visible in the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, were wearing caps and had their faces covered.
Deputy inspector general (DIG), Ludhiana range, SK Kalia said the step has been taken to involve people in the probe. The identity of anyone who provides information will be kept secret. He said the police were scanning more CCTV clips to identify the assailants. Sixteen teams, besides a special investigation team (SIT), have been formed to crack the case, he added.
The announcement came three days after director general of police (law and order) Hardeep Singh Dhillon assured dera followers — who had blocked the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road demanding arrest of killers — that the police would arrest the killers in five days.
After scanning the CCTV footage, the police said assailants come from Malerkotla side and fled towards Ludhiana after committing the crime. The assailants also stared at the CCTV camera installed at the congregation centre’s canteen and uttered some words. One of them also opened fire in the air before leaving.
A case of murder was registered against unidentified miscreants at the Malaudh police station.
Earlier too, the police announced cash rewards in four high-profile cases, but it yielded no result. Police had announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh and job in Punjab Police for anyone who gives information about killers of Durga Prasad Gupta, Shiv Sena labour wing leader, who was gunned down at Lalhedi Chowk in Khanna on April 23 last year.
A reward of Rs 10 lakh was announced in Namdhari sect matriarch Chand Kaur’s murder case, who was shot dead at Bhaini Sahib of Ludhiana on April 4 last year. The case was later handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Similarly, Rs 10 lakh was announced for information on assailants in the murder case of senior RSS leader Jagdish Gagneja, who was shot at by two masked motorcyclists in Jalandhar on August 6. He died at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana on September 22.
The police also announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for providing information on attack on an RSS shakha in Ludhiana’s Kidwai Nagar on January 19, 2016. RSS leader Naresh Kumar was injured in the incident.