Punjab gangster Bhullar shifted to Kolkata apartment week after killing 2 cops
Kolkata: A Haryana man who claimed to be an automobile parts dealer, took the New Town apartment on rent for the Punjab gangsters, Jaipal Singh Bhullar and Jaspreet Jassi, who were shot dead in an encounter on Wednesday afternoon.
Sumit Kumar, the businessman from Haryana completed the paperwork on May 22. The following day, the two gangsters moved into the second floor apartment at Sukhabrishti, a complex built by the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, the criminal investigation department (CID) of the West Bengal police said on Thursday.
Jaipal Singh Bhullar, son of a retired assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of Punjab Police, was on the run after he and three others killed two police officers in Ludhiana’s Jagraon on May 15. He was already wanted in several states in connection with over 45 cases, including murder, kidnapping, robbery and smuggling.
On Wednesday, Bhullar and Jaspreet Singh were killed in an encounter with the Special Task Force (STF) of West Bengal Police in the eastern outskirts of Kolkata. STF inspector Kartick Mohan Ghosh was shot in the shoulder in the gunfight.
Akbar Ali, who owns the apartment and lives at CIT Road in central Kolkata, told the media that he did not know the tenant and the broker, Sushanta Saha, prepared the legal documents. Sumit Kumar allegedly told the broker that the apartment was required for a man who worked for a private company and was coming to Kolkata on transfer.
Incidentally, Sumit Kumar initially contacted Kolkata-based property dealer Saurav Kumar looking for an apartment. Saurav Kumar referred him to Sushanta Saha, a broker who operates in the New Town area, said officers probing the case.
Sushanta Saha told the police that Sumit Kumar took on rent apartment No 201 at Block B of Sukhabristi, an upmarket residential complex that has a few hundred apartments.
Residents and security guards at the complex told the investigators that once Bhullar and Jassi moved in, they never left the apartment and ordered food from local outlets. One of the delivery boys told the media that the duo always ordered north Indian dishes. They rarely opened the windows.
CID officers said Bharat Kumar, who drove the black luxury sedan used by the two to reach Kolkata, revealed their new address in Kolkata after he was caught by the Punjab police on his return. The car was also caught on a security camera at Gwalior. The vehicle, which has a West Bengal registration number, was reportedly sold six years ago by a Kolkata-based company but the new owner did not register it in his name.
Residents of Sukhabristi apartments said this wasn’t the first time that the police had arrested some criminals from the complex; it was the first incident where shots were fired. They alleged that many apartment owners do not even live in Kolkata and rent out their properties without checking the background of tenants.
Bengal housing minister Firhad Hakim on Thursday said, “Many of the residents are tenants. It is difficult to keep track of these people. The apartment owners are supposed to keep the local police informed about the identity of the tenants but many people do not comply. We cannot force them as there is no stringent law which makes it mandatory.”
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh on Thursday criticised the state’s law and order situation on this issue. “This is not the first time that terrorists and gangsters from Punjab have been nabbed or killed in Bengal. Punjab terrorists were killed here during the 1990s as well, when the Left Front was in power. Criminals see Bengal as a safe haven. The National Investigation Agency should look into this,” said Ghosh.