The Sirhind police claimed to have busted a gang of highway robbers with the arrest of its kingpin, Surjit Singh, who had served as a constable in the Punjab Police before being dismissed from service in 2006.
The gang used to target bus passengers carrying large sums of cash with them. Posing as cops, the gang would lay nakas on highways and alight the target passengers from buses on the pretext of checking and rob them.
In this manner, they gang reportedly robbed passengers of Rs 25 lakh in Rajpura, Rs 20 lakh in Mandi Gobindgarh and Rs 20 lakh in Sirhind in the months of March and April this year.
Addressing a press conference at Sirhind on Wednesday, Ludhiana range DIG MF Farooqui and Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu said following a secret information, a team of police during checking near T-point at Dalomajra village (Sirhind) on GT Road arrested Surjit Singh alias Pappu, originally a resident of Aali Ka village of Bathinda district and currently living in Urban Estate, Phase-II, Patiala.
They said Surjit was on his way to Sirhind in his Indica car when he was arrested. The police also recovered recovered a.12-bore country made pistol and three live cartridges. After his arrest, a case was registered against Surjit at Sirhind police station under sections 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act. He was wanted in a case registered by Sirhind police under sections 382, 34 of the IPC registered on April 21.
As per the DIG and the SSP, the police recovered Rs 5 lakh from Surjit, which he, along with other gang members, had looted from Mandi Gobindgarh and Sirhind. Surjit named his accomplices as Raja Ram of Janta Nagar (Ludhiana), Laddy and Bhola.
The gang had looted Rs 60 lakh from bus passengers after alighting them in the name of checking near by-pass chowk Rajpura on March 7, Mandi Gobindgarh's bus stand on March 14 and at Chawla Chowk, Sirhind on April 21.
Surjit Singh also told the police that he had deposited his share of looted money (Rs 14-15 lakh) in bank accounts at Barnala and Patiala. The accused reportedly had purchased immovable properties in Baba Deep Singh Nagar, Barnala and Patiala.
After getting information that khaki-clad miscreants were robbing bus passengers, the police checked records of all dismissed cops and Surjit's name figured on the list. Eight accomplices are on the run.
Stint in Police
Surjit Singh joined the Punjab Police as a constable in Ferozepur district. He was later sent on deputation to CID and was posted at Barnala. During his posting at Barnala, a case was registered against him in 2001. He was dismissed from service in 2006 after being convicted in the case.