Punjab gangster Budha’s interrogation led to 23 arrests: DGP
Crackdown led to recovery of 30 weapons from criminals arrested during raids in Ferozepur range and adjoining states of Haryana, Rajasthan after interrogation of Sukhpreet Singh, alias Budha, who was deported from Armenia in November last yearUpdated: Feb 13, 2020 23:25 IST
The Punjab Police on Thursday claimed to have arrested 23 criminals and recovered 36 weapons from Ferozepur and adjoining states of Haryana and Rajasthan on the basis of information revealed by gangster Sukhpreet Singh Budha who was caught in Armenia last year
Budha, who was operating as a self-styled head of the Davinder Bambiha gang, was deported from Armenia and arrested by the state police at the Delhi airport when he landed in November 2019. He was wanted in several cases of murder, robbery and demanding ransom. The revelations made by him during interrogation led the police to solve numerous untraced heinous crimes in Punjab, according to director general of police Dinkar Gupta.
Gupta said a major crackdown on the illegal supply of weapons by unscrupulous weapon dealers had led to recovery of 30 weapons from the various criminals arrested. These included 14 DBBL 12 bore, four SBBL 12 bore, five 32 bore pistols, one 45 bore pistol, three 30 bore pistols, one 25 bore pistol and two carbines.
Following the recovery of these illegal weapons, four shops of gun dealers were sealed. “Further operations are in progress to identify and crack other links of these accused,” he said in a statement.
Taking note of large-scale discrepancies and loopholes in the stock, sale and purchase of arms and ammunition by arms dealers and licence holders, a state-wide audit of working of arms dealers and licensing branches is also being carried out by the state police.
LINK TO TARGETED KILLINGS
Following a disclosure by Budha, the DGP constituted an SIT led by AIG counter-Intelligence HPS Khakh that in a joint operation with the anti-terrorist squad of Uttar Pradesh arrested Ashish of Meerut on January 30. Ashish was the main supplier of illegal automatic weapons used by the criminals to commit murders, extortions, kidnappings for ransom and other crimes.
Gupta said Ashish was introduced to Budha by Dharminder Gugni, who is one of the main accused in the cases of target killings of Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja, an RSS office-bearer and other Hindu religious leaders in Punjab.
Ashish was also wanted in the targeted killings cases and being investigated by the National Investigation Agency.
He was arrested for the first time for his alleged involvement in smuggling of 120 crates of illicit liquor and then nabbed by the Punjab Police in an NDPS case, in which he got a 10-year imprisonment in 2012. He was sent to Nabha jail, Patiala, and after his release, he jumped bail in 2014.
The weapons he supplied various Punjab-based criminals were used in the Tarn Taran inter-gang wars in 2015, the attack on Punjabi singer Permish Verma in Mohali and recently in the murder of Abdul Rashid, alias Gudhu, in Malerkotla in November 2019.
Later, his two accomplices, Gurpreet Singh alias Laddi and Neeraj Kumar alias Dhiraj Batta, wanted in 20 and 13 criminal cases, respectively, were arrested.
A separate case was registered under the UAPA in Mohali against Ashish and his accomplices. Another gun house dealer was arrested for supplying illegal arms and ammunition to criminals.