Year later, Vicky Middukhera murder awaits closure
Three suspected shooters and an equal number of conspirators are behind the bars, but the gangster who ordered the murder and four more accused remain out of police grasp
It was exactly one year ago when Youth Akali Dal leader Vikramjit Singh Middukhera, 33, was shot dead in broad daylight in Sector 71, Mohali, on August 7, 2021.
Since the gruesome murder, which police have attributed to inter-gang rivalry, six accused, including the three suspected shooters, have been arrested and a challan has been filed against them. But five more remain out of police’s grasp.
According to Mohali senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vivek Sheel Soni the motive of the murder is clear. “Middukhera was very close to the Lawrence Bishnoi gang since his school and college days in Chandigarh. This made him the target of Bishnoi gang’s rivals,” he said.
Probe so far has established that the hit was carried out on the orders of Armenia-based gangster Gaurav Padial, alias Lucky Padial, who leads the Davinder Bambiha gang, since the gangster’s death in a police encounter in 2016.
Among those arrested so far are gangster Bhuppi Rana, three shooters – Anil Kumar, alias Latth; Sajjan Singh, alias Bholu; Ajay Kumar, alias Sunny; and Amit Dagar and Kaushal Chaudhary, who conspired the murder on Padial’s directions.
It was the duo that hired the four sharpshooters – Anil , Sajjan, Ajay and one Somvir, who remains at large.
After an extensive recce, the shooters had traced Middukhera to the Sector-71 market on August 7, 2021. According to investigators, Anil and Sajan were the ones who opened fire at Middukhera, while the other two remained inside their car.
Middukhera had ran for his life for about 500 metres amid raining bullets and had even managed to scale the wall of the Sector-71 community centre for cover, but could not survive. He used to carry a licensed pistol in his vehicle but did not get a chance to grab it. He sustained 12 bullet injuries and died on the spot.
Five accused still out of police reach
Despite the arrest of six accused, police have failed to nab Padial, the fourth shooter, Somvir, and Shagunpreet Singh, the manager of a Punjabi singer, who allegedly arranged the stay of the shooters at a flat in Kharar after picking them up from Sohana a day before the murder. He is said to be in Australia presently.
Ravinder Chauhan, who arranged a car, SIM card and weapons from Yamunanagar for the murder and gangster Dharmander Gogni, who was also involved in the murder conspiracy, also remain out of police reach.
Superintendent of police (SP), investigation, Amardeep Singh Brar said, “As far as Shagunpreet is concerned, we have written to the Australian authorities to cancel his visa and also written to the regional passport officer, Chandigarh, to revoke his passport. Things will become clearer once he is arrested. We also have strong leads regarding Somvir, Ravinder and Dharmander, and are hopeful of arresting them soon.”
How the case was cracked
The murder case was cracked by the counter-intelligence unit of Delhi Police in March this year after the arrest of 12 gangsters aligned with the Davinder Bambiha gang, including the three shooters, following a month-long operation spanning seven states in the country.
Until then, while the Mohali police had formed two special investigation teams and questioned around 50 gangsters and 32 witnesses, they were unable to arrest any accused.
During interrogation, the three shooters had confessed to killing Middukhera on the directions of Amit Dagar and Kaushal Chaudhary.
After the arrest of the three shooters, the Mohali police had recovered the Hyundai i20 car used in the crime and four pistols, along with eight cartridges.