Key accused in Shaurya Chakra awardee’s killing, 2 aides held with hand grenade, RDX

Updated on Aug 09, 2022 07:57 PM IST

Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav says both accused Gurwinder Singh and Sandeep Singh were involved in cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons

Shaurya Chakra awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu, who fought terrorism in Punjab, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Tarn Taran district in October 2020. (HT file photo)
Shaurya Chakra awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu, who fought terrorism in Punjab, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Tarn Taran district in October 2020. (HT file photo)

TARNTARAN Police on Tuesday arrested three persons, including a key accused wanted in the brutal killing of Shaurya Chakra awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu, allegedly for cross-border smuggling of arms and drugs through drones and recovered a hand grenade, an RDX-IED and other ammunition from their possession to be used for terror activities on or around Independence Day.

The arrested men have been identified as Gurwinder Singh alias Baba alias Raja of Tarn Taran and his two aides Sandeep Singh alias Kala of Amritsar and Gurpreet Singh alias Randhawa.

The police have also recovered one hand-grenade, one RDX-IED, two .30 bore pistols along with magazines and 13 live cartridges, 635 grams heroin, 100 grams opium, 36.90 lakhs drug money, and one Mitsubishi Lancer car from their possession.

Director general of police (DGP), Punjab, Gaurav Yadav said the preliminary investigations indicated that the recovered explosives and arms and ammunition were to be used to disrupt peace and harmony and create a sense of terror in the state on or around Independence Day.

Police said the arrested men are close associates of notorious gangster Sukh Bhikhariwal, who had hatched the plan to kill Balwinder from Dubai at the instance of his terror operatives in Pakistan.

Sandhu, who was conferred with the bravery award for fighting against terrorism in Punjab, was gunned down by two bike borne men at his home in Bhikhiwind town of Tarn Taran district in October 2020. The investigation by the NIA had found that Sandhu was killed on the instructions of Pakistan-based Khalisthani terrorist Lakhbir Singh Rode.

DGP Yadav said that accused Gurwinder Singh alias Baba, who is a proclaimed offender (PO) of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), had played a pivotal role in the killing of Shaurya Chakra Awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu by providing weapons to shooters.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ferozepur Range Jaskaran Singh, while addressing a press conference along with SSP Tarn Taran Ranjit Singh Dhillon, said that following the reliable inputs that Gurwinder Baba along with his aide Sandeep is on the way to Khadoor Sahib, the Tarn Taran Police Party had intercepted the white Lancer car in which both were travelling and managed to arrest them.

The IGP said that, later, following the disclosures of Gurwinder Baba, the police have also recovered a hand grenade, an RDX-IED and 33 lakhs drug-money from the location pinpointed in the area of Police District Batala. Preliminary investigations suggest that the recovered explosives, arms, and drugs were smuggled via drones from Pakistan, he added.

SSP Dhillon said an FIR has been registered under sections 18, 21, 25, and 29 of the NDPS Act, sections 25(6) and 25(7) of the Arms Act, sections 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substance Act and sections 10, 11 and 12 of the Aircraft Act at Police Station Verowal.

He said that these arrests are likely to lead to further disclosures of cross-border smuggling modules. Further investigations are on, he added.

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