The district police, on Friday, busted a gang of contract killers, which was operating on the directions of Sukha Haryanvi and Rajnish Kumar alias Prate Phagwara , who are lodged in the Kapurthala modern jail, with the arrest of seven of its members, who are hardcore criminals. The gangsters were also linked to the notorious Sukha Kahlon gang.
Those arrested have been identified as Mandeep Singh of Moha village, Gulshan Kumar of Chak Mehra village, Vijay Kumar of Jaija village and Gurmeet Singh of Maseet Pal Kot in Hoshiarpur district, Jaspal Singh, a resident of Shankar village, Gurpreet Singh of Talwandi Bharo in Nakodar and Rajinder Singh of Narangpur village of Jalandhar district.
Acting on a tip-off that some gangsters were coming to Kapurthala to meet Haryanvi and Rajnish Kumar alias Prate Phagwara in the jail, the city police set up a ‘naka’ on the Jail Road in the morning.
Spotting the police, the gangsters in their Mahindra Scorpio and Toyota Qualis cars, attempted to run away from the spot, but after a brief chase, police overpowered them.
On search, the police recovered two pistols, one .12 bore gun and 4 cartridges, besides 1.25kg heroin, a Scorpio (PB-08-AX-7567), Qualis (PB-06-A-3547) and sharp-edged weapons from their possession.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rajinder Singh said at a press conference that both Preet Phagwara and Sukha Haryanvi were operating the gang from the jail and contacted gang members through mobiles and frequent meetings.
“The arrested gang members recently came out of the jail on bail and had a long history of crimes, including murder, attempt to murder, robbery cases registered against them at various police stations across the state,” the SSP said.
The SSP said that they became good friends inside the jail and after these seven came out on bail, they formed a contact killing gang.
The Kapurthala jail administration has come under scanner with the arrest of the gangsters, who were in touch with Haryanavi and Rajnish.
During interrogation, the accused confessed to the crimes and revealed that, on directions of Preet and Haryanvi, they had taken the contract of killing an Anandpur Sahib-based businessman, a Nakodar teacher, and others in the coming days.
Preet Phagwara, a supporter of gangster Sukha Haryanvi, was arrested by the police last year in December on murder charges while four years ago for murdering a woman in Nakodar.
A case has been registered against all seven gangsters under sections 399 (making preparation to commit dacoity), 402 (assembling for purpose of committing dacoity), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and various sections of the NDPS Act at Kotwali police station. The accused will be produced in a local court on Saturday and both inmates would also be brought on production warrants on Sunday.