How Jaipal Bhullar became Punjab’s most wanted gangster
Failing to make it big in the world of sport, Jaipal Bhullar — one of Punjab’s most wanted drug smuggler and gangster who was killed in an encounter in Kolkata on Wednesday — achieved notoriety in the world of crime.
Son of a cop, Bhullar was on the run after gunning down two assistant sub-inspectors of Punjab Police in Ludhiana’s Jagraon town on May 15.
Belonging to Ferozepur, Bhullar had a long association with Ludhiana. A national-level hammer thrower, his sporting career had picked up in 2003 when he joined Speed Fund Academy, a government-run training centre in Ludhiana. Also, it was here in July 2004 that he made his first foray into the world of crime by kidnapping a cinema hall owner’s seven-year-old son.
With this his sporting career came to an end and his crime graph took a flight, as he came in contact with other gangsters in jail.
First such associate was Rajiv Raja who was arrested in 2006 for killing three family members of a jeweller in Ludhiana. Later, out on bail, Bhullar met Shera, with whom he decided to form a gang. In January 2009, both helped Raja flee from police custody at the Barnala bus stand.
Later, the gang carried a series of robberies, including at a gun house in Hoshiarpur, followed by more crimes in Mohali and Panchkula. They were also behind several carjackings on the highway.
Arrested in Chandigarh, Bhullar came in contact with gangster Rocky of Fazilka and formed a new gang. With witnesses reluctant to speak up, the gangsters were acquitted in July 2010, and soon there was a rift between the duo. Rocky decided to enter politics and allegedly helped cops hunt down a number of gangsters, before he was finally killed by Bhullar at Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district in 2015.
Bhullar had also masterminded the ₹1.33-crore cash van robbery in Banur in 2017 besides executing robbery of 30kg gold at a Ludhiana firm in February 2020.
Jaspreet Singh, 29, the other man gunned down by the West Bengal police special task force on Wednesday, was Bhullar’s close aide. A resident of Kharar in Mohali, he was involved in several crimes with the gangster, including kidnapping of a businessman in Zirakpur last year.
He was also involved in killing the two ASIs in Jagraon, and was the one who started firing at them after alighting from the driver’s seat of the drug-laden vehicle. According to police, Jaspreet, alias Jassi, was facing over 15 criminal cases and had met Bhullar at Chandigarh Model Jail.