Lawrence Bishnoi aide and former student leader shot dead outside Chandigarh mall
In a suspected case of gang rivalry, Gurlal Brar, 26, former state president of the Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU), was gunned down in his Toyota Fortuner SUV outside the Playboy Nightclub at City Emporium Mall in Industrial Area, Phase 1, on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.
Three motorcycle borne assailants fired at Brar, known to be a close associate of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi.
Soon after, gangster Davinder Bambiha’s group took to social media, owning responsibility for the killing “to avenge” the murder of their associate Lavi Deora.
Members of Bishnoi’s gang had killed Deora at a fair in Faridkot’s Kotkapura on July 15, 2017, in which Brar had reportedly played an active role.
“Brar was a close associate of Bishnoi. We are looking into rivalry of gangs,” said senior superintendent of police, Kuldeep Singh Chahal.
Four persons were detained for questioning in connection with Brar’s death, including a bouncer at a disco near the crime spot. Sources said he was a member of Bambiha’s gang.
Brar was shot dead as he was waiting to hand over his SUV to a friend. He had first visited Playboy Nightclub on Saturday night and left briefly to go to Para Club close by for a woman friend’s birthday party, returning to the Nightclub after the cake cutting ceremony, police said.
Before leaving Para Club he had asked a friend to pick him up as he was to hand over his SUV to another friend. Past midnight, at around 12:30 am, he was in his white Fortuner SUV outside the mall when the motorcyclists pumped bullets into him and sped away.
Brar was taken to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), where doctors declared him “brought dead”.
A case under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Arms Act has been registered at the Industrial Area police station against the unidentified assailants on the complaint of Vikas Tiwari of Hallomajra, an eyewitness to the shooting.
Tiwari, a driver, said he and three other drivers were at the Playboy Nightclub on valet parking duty and had seen three men on a motorcycle. Two had walked up to Brar’s SUV and fired before all three fled.
Man who arranged for gunmen lives abroad
The post, allegedly by Bambiha’s gang is in Punjabi in English script. It says: “Lucky got Brar killed to avenge Deora’s death and that he had spoken against the gang members (Bambiha) at a club in Chandigarh.”
Sources say Lucky lives abroad and that he had arranged for the gunmen to kill Brar. The post has a number of hashtags, including #Respect women and #avoid drugs.
Seven shells recovered from the spot, body had six injuries
Brar’s body had six bullet injury marks, said superintendent of police (City) Vineet Kumar. These were on the head, chest, neck and arm. Police recovered seven shells from the spot.
Brar’s weapon missing
Police sources revealed Brar was fond of weapons (many of his social media posts show him brandishing a few). Strangely however, no weapon was recovered from the crime scene even though Brar never travelled without a gun. “The licence of a weapon was found but no firearm,” said a senior police officer.
Became party president with Bishnoi’s support
Brar and Bishnoi worked closely in student politics and it was because of the latter’s support that Brar was elected state president of SOPU in 2016.
From Kotkapura in Faridkot, Brar was helping out his family with farming but living in Mohali. He was very fond of body building and weapons and was friends with gangsters Bishnoi and Sampat Nehra.
Was recently booked for misbehaving with girls
Brar had, a few days ago, been booked for assaulting and threatening a group of girls outside another nightclub in the area where he was gunned down. Accompanied by another person named Mohit and a woman, he had, on September 27, misbehaved with a group of girls outside Para Nightclub. A 30-year-old woman from Panipat district in Haryana had complained that the trio had slapped and threatened her, her sister and friends and police had registered the case.
Gang violence in the past
There have been a number of incidents of gang violence in the city. On March 16 this year, Surjit Singh, who used to supply bouncers, was gunned down in Sector 38. His name had cropped up in the murder of another bouncer Amit Sharma, alias Meet, who was shot dead in a gang war in Panchkula in 2017. On September 28 last year, property dealer Sonu Shah was shot dead at his office in Burail, in another alleged case of gang war