In a joint action by police from four districts, nine persons have been arrested for the killing of gangster Sukha Kahlon, who was gunned down at Phagwara on January 22 while being taken back to jail by cops after a court hearing. The police also claimed on Thursday to have recovered two cars - Toyota Fortuner SUVs - used in the crime.
After the arrests, made by a team comprising cops from Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Amritsar and Jalandhar, police said the killers belonged to at least five different gangs who wanted to avenge the killings of their members by Sukha.
The Ludhiana police mad the first arrest, of key accused Gondar from Amritsar. Raids and more arrests followed, and all of them have been handed over to the Kapurthala police.
As for the two SUVs, the men are alleged to have stolen them from Jagraon and Moga a few days before, for the express intention of using them in the crime. The police also recovered a Fortuner and Maruti Swift Dzire stolen from Karnal and Jalandhar, respectively. Weapons used in the murder were also recovered, claimed the cops.
Sources said Gondar, who belongs to Ferozepur, had looted the Fortuner from Moga and another gangster named Gurpreet Singh had executed the carjacking from in front of the popular Raja Dhaba in Jagraon.
Interrogation revealed that Sukha and his gang members had murdered three rivals in the past few months, police said. The five gangs then planned the "revenge attack".
Pramod Ban, police commissioner, Ludhiana, only said "it was a joint action".