In a big breakthrough, the police claimed to have arrested former Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) militant Gursewak Singh, alias Babla, of Rajowana Kalan village, and his four accomplices for hatching a conspiracy to loot a jewellery shop on Sunday late.
The police have also recovered a car, a .32-bore pistol, 10 bullets, iron rods, sharp-edged weapons and `70,000 from their possession. The police reportedly arrested the accused from a vacant plot near the power house in Duley village following a tip-off.
The other arrested accused are Sukhjeet Singh, alias Gonu, of Talwandi in Dakha; Mumtaz Mirza, alias Sonu, of Pullanwal; Madan Lal of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Chanpreet Singh, alias Raja, of Khasi Kalan village, son of the sarpanch.
Sub-inspector Rajesh Thakur of the CIA staff-1, who is investigating the matter, said the gang had looted more than 10 ATMs between 2010 and 2015. The accused also tried to break open an ATM on Pakhowal Road in March this year, the police said.
Thakur said Babla was a dreaded militant. He had executed 19 loot incidents at roadside eateries and filling stations in one day in 1984. He has been facing trial in at least 75 cases, including terrorist activities, murder and loot, said the sub-inspector. Babla had fled from police custody twice, in 1986 and 2004, but was later arrested. He was bailed out in 2010. After coming out of jail, he formed the gang of robbers.
Thakur said the police expected to get more important information during interrogation.