The Tarn Taran police have arrested notorious criminal Harjinder Singh alias Vicky Gounder, a prime accused in the murder of gangster Sukha Kahlan, top police sources have told HT.
Sources said Gounder was arrested in a village near Patti on Sunday after cops laid siege to the area following a tip-off. The sources said Gounder was nabbed while he and his aides fired their guns to break the cordon, triggering an encounter.
Senior police officials confirmed the encounter, but denied that Gounder had been arrested. They, however, said the police were “very close” to nabbing the gangster.
“On Sunday night, an encounter took place near Patti between police and Gounder, but we were not able to arrest him. We have sealed the boundary of the district and all senior officers are looking for him,” senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manmohan Sharma told HT.
Sources, however, said Gounder was in custody and was being interrogated by officials of the crime investigation agency (CIA). They said CIA interrogators, along with Tarn Taran DSP (investigation) Jaswant Singh, were trying to seek information about Gounder’s other gang members, including Prem Lahoria, who is also an accused in the Kahlan murder case.
Kahlan, himself an accused in many cases, including murder, was shot dead in 2014 while he was being brought back to Nabha jail from Jalandhar after a court hearing.
The Facebook page of Gounder’s gang also confirmed that he was arrested. “Thank God, Vicky Gounder was well when he was arrested,” a post on the gang’s Facebook page read.
Gounder’, a resident of Ferozepur, is part of a gang started by Jaipal Singh. The gang is involved in a series of highway robberies and murders. Jaipal and his accomplice Tirath are at large.
Meanwhile, the Patti police have registered another case against Gounder, Lahoria and another gangster Kuldeep Singh for attempt to murder. SHO Rajwinder Kaur said the trio was booked for the encounter.