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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Patiala police arrest another accused

Rajeev Bhaskar & Vishal Rambani  Jalandhar/Patiala, October 27, 2013
First Published: 00:50 IST(27/10/2013) | Last Updated: 00:52 IST(27/10/2013)

Patiala Police on Saturday arrested another accused, Palwinder Singh Pinda, in the shootout case of an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Gurdev Singh, who was shot dead near Haveli Restaurant near Jalandhar on March 31 last year.

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Pinda was arrested from Tagore Theatre in Patiala, where he had gone to watch a film, police said, adding that a pistol was recovered from him.

Patiala SSP Hardial Singh Mann confirmed the arrest but refused to share the details saying the investigation was on to nab the other accused.

HT investigation revealed that Pinda had already been booked in four cases -- two registered with the Jalandhar (rural) police, one in Kapurthala district and another in Patiala district. He was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment in a case under the Arms Act and was out on bail when he allegedly got involved in the killing of the ASI.

Earlier, the Jalandhar (rural) police had arrested Pushpinder Singh alias Noni and Kapurthala police had arrested Tavinder Singh alias Tally within days of the murder. Sources said Noni, who was sentenced to 20 years in another murder case, was released on parole on March 15 and was involved in the ASI's murder.

On the same day, Kapurthala police arrested Tally, a resident of Tut Kalan village in Nakodar, for his involvement in the ASI's murder. Tally, a UK citizen, had returned to India at the time, sources said.

Another accused Rajinder Singh, resident of Fatehgarh Sahib, was still at large and efforts were on to arrest him, police said.

In the midnight of March 31 last year, ASI Gurdev Singh, 54, was shot dead near a restaurant on the Jalandhar-Phagwara national highway.

The ASI and head constable Binder Singh, deployed on highway patrol duty, had arrived at Haveli restaurant for routine checking and Binder went to the toilet, where he heard the sound of a cigarette lighter being put on from a cabin, which was locked from inside, and apparently smelled a drug being consumed. Binder knocked at the door, but since there was no reply, he left the place after asking the security guard to keep a watch.

About 10 minutes later, a man came out of the toilet. The guard informed the head constable, who was standing outside the restaurant along with Gurdev Singh. The ASI told the man to stop, but he started running. The ASI gave chase and managed to catch him. During a scuffle between the ASI and the accused, three of the latter's accomplices came in a car. One of them fired at the cop from a 9mm carbine, police said.

Hearing the shots, the police patrol vehicle chased the car. The cops opened fire, but the assailants sped away towards Jalandhar.

Gurdev received two bullets, one just above the heart and the other in the abdomen. He was rushed to the Phagwara civil hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

A case under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 392 (robbery) and 34 (criminal act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC and section 25 of the Arms Act was registered against the four accused.

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