Key accused in Phagwara cop’s murder held after shootout in Zirakpur hotel
On January 8, the gangster, with his three aides, had shot dead a 28-year-old constable, who with his team was chasing them after a carjacking in Phillaur
Gangster Yuvraj Singh, alias Jora, a key accused in the January 8 murder of a Phagwara police constable, was arrested by the Punjab Police from Zirakpur’s Dhakoli area following an encounter on Saturday evening.
The constable, Kuldeep Singh Bajwa, 28, was part of a police team that was chasing gangsters who had robbed a car at gunpoint in Phillaur’s Kangjagir village on January 8 night. During the chase, the robbers had fired at the police party and a bullet had pierced through Bajwa’s thigh.
As the police party returned fire, they managed to overpower three robbers, but the fourth, Yuvraj, had managed to escape. Bajwa was rushed to a private hospital in Phagwara, where he was declared brought dead.
Opened fire at police team when asked to surrender
On Saturday evening, following a tip-off that Yuvraj, 21, had checked in at a hotel in Dhakoli using the fake identity of Ramzan Malik, a team of Punjab Police’s anti-gangster task force (AGTF) reached the area.
“The AGTF team led by AIG Sandeep Goel and DSP Bikram Brar cordoned off the hotel and confirmed the presence of Yuvraj in room number 105 from the manager,” said AGTF DIG Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, adding that consequent upon this confirmation, the team asked the accused to surrender.
However, Yuvraj opened fire at the police team and a bullet hit the bullet-proof jacket of AIG Goel, upon which his room’s door was broken open by DSP Brar.
“The accused fired two more shots. But the team overpowered him after a brief encounter in which he suffered two gunshot wounds in the legs. He was arrested and taken to the Dhakoli Community Health Centre from where he was referred to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh,” the DIG said.
Two .32-calibre pistols were recovered from the accused, said police.
Mohali SP (Investigation) Amandeep Singh Brar said Yuvraj had checked into the hotel on Saturday. Another senior police official said the Zirakpur police will register a criminal case against Yuvraj pertaining to the Saturday encounter with police.
According to police, the 21-year-old is named in multiple criminal cases, including attempt to murder. AIG Sandeep said the police will investigate his involvement in other crimes and his association with other gangsters.
Constable Bajwa belonged to Batala area, but was living in Kapurthala. Following his death, the Punjab government had announced an ex gratia grant of ₹1 crore for his family, while another ₹1 crore insurance payment will be made by HDFC bank.
Yuvraj’s accomplices arrested in the January 8 encounter are Kulwinder Singh, alias Kinda, Vishnu and Ranjit Singh. Shot in the legs during the encounter, they were hospitalised in Phillaur, but later shifted to the Jalandhar civil hospital.