Moga car dealer arrested in 2014 foreign weapon smuggling case
Faridkot: Hours after the Punjab and Haryana high court granted regular bail to Moga-based car dealer Pankaj Bansal in the Behbal Kalan police firing case, the Punjab Police’s Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU) arrested him in the court of the judicial magistrate on Friday in connection with the 2014 inter-state illegal foreign-made weapons smuggling case.
Chandigarh-based Vishal Gun House owner Satish Kumar was arrested on Thursday and six people, including Bansal, were named accused in the case for buying illegal weapons and forging sales bills. A search is on for the remaining four accused, namely Raj Chopra of Karnal who owns the National Arms Company; Bhupinder Singh of Ferozepur, Amit Goyal of Delhi and Rohit Chabra of Kotkapura.
The court of judicial magistrate Amandeep Kaur sent Bansal and Satish in five-day police custody. Bansal was presented before the court on production warrant.
The special investigation team (SIT) probing the 2015 police firing incidents had arrested Bansal in the Behbal Kalan firing case on June 20.
District attorney Rajnish Goyal said: “During investigation, OCCU found that involvement of purchasers of the weapons also pointed to their culpability in knowingly buying illegal weapons and forging sales bills.”
However, in 2015 the police had given a clean chit to these persons, claiming that the accused pass the weapons as genuine in connivance with arms dealers and the buyers did not know the genuineness of the weapons, so those persons were innocent purchasers. At that time, the police chose not to disclose the names of the buyers, who they admitted were usually rich or influential.
The case was registered under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 472 and 392 of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act at Faridkot city police station on August 18, 2014. OCCU has added Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) in the first information report.
SEARCH ON FOR PRIME ACCUSED
In October 2014, with the arrest of Ranjit Singh, alias Dupla, and his accomplice Gurcharan Singh Rinka, Faridkot police recovered 13 foreign-made weapons that gangsters sold to rich youngsters in Chandigarh and Delhi. Dupla and other persons were buying illegal foreign-made weapons from other states and selling them in Punjab by preparing false documents.
The police had submitted a final report to the court against accused Ranjit Singh and others on January 17, 2015. A supplementary challan was also submitted against four other accused on April 30, 2015.
Prime accused gangster Dupla has been declared a proclaimed offender in the case. Police sources said he has fled the country and OCCU is trying to locate him.