In an interesting turn of events in the 10-kg gold loot at Manappuram Finance Company at Rama Mandi on August 28, it has now been revealed that the mother of Sukhwinder Singh, one of the accused arrested in the case, had also taken a loan of Rs 8,000 from the finance company by mortgaging her earrings.
Moreover the mother, Paramjeet Kaur, is also an eyewitness in a similar loot of 14-kg gold from Ludhiana’s Shimlapuri branch of Manappuram Finance at Gill Road on July 30, 2015. She was inside the branch when six armed robbers looted 14-kg gold worth Rs 3.5 crore and Rs 2.23 lakh in cash.
Paramjeet’s second son Varinder Singh Billa, the prime accused (absconding) in the Jalandhar robbery, was reportedly involved in the Ludhiana’s robbery but the Ludhiana police have no information about this.
After Ludhiana’s loot, Paramjeet along with her husband Surjeet and son Sukhwinder moved to Jalandhar and took a rented accommodation at Sainik Vihar near Dakoha.
Surjeet and Sukhwinder visited the branch many times on the pretext of the loan and noted all important information including the number of staff members, CCTV cameras in the branch.
Sukhwinder supplied the information to his younger brother Billa who lives in Orissa. Billa, along with five other accused landed in the city on August 25. When they came here, Sukhwinder brought a Hyundai i20 car from his brother-in-law in Kaithal and went to Amritsar with other accused including Billa. On August 28, he brought a bike from his sister’s house in Ludhiana.
The next day, both Sukhwinder and his father Surjeet remained outside in the car, took the bag after the loot and went to Ludhiana. After distributing the gold among them, the six went back to their respective areas while Sukhvinder and Surjeet returned to Jalandhar.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Harjit Singh said that Paramjeet’s role is being examined as her role has not come to light yet.
A team of cops is already camping in Orissa to nab Billa as he owns a small transport business there.
Meanwhile, Surjeet and Sukhwinder are in the custody of Rama Mandi police till September 12. The police had also seized a .32 bore revolver, three live cartridges, two Honda Activa scooters and a bike from them.
The police said the case involved a gang of eight people and the arrested two were conducting recce outside the branch as the crime took place.
A CCTV footage led the cops to the Sainik Vihar locality where they had been living in a house they had taken on rent from a retired DSP.
On July 30, 2015, armed men looted gold 14-kg gold (worth Rs 3 crore) from Manappuram Finance Company on the busy Gill Road in broad daylight. The robbers also took away mobile phones belonging to the staff of the company that offers gold on loan.