Shaurya Chakra awardee killing: 3 main accused still at large, cops yet to ascertain ‘motive’ behind murder
Three main accused in the high-profile killing of Shaurya Chakra awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu, including notorious gangster Sukhmeet Singh, alias Sukh Bhikhariwal, are yet to be arrested even as the police claim to have solved the case.
Moreover, the police are yet to ascertain the motive behind the killing, more than a fortnight after Sandhu was gunned down by two bike-borne masked men at his house at Bhikhiwind village in Tarn Taran district.
Deputy inspector general (DIG Ferozepur rage) Hardial Singh Mann, who is heading the special investigation team (SIT) probing the case, said, “We have some leads about the motive of the killing but we are waiting for concrete evidence to establish it.”
The police have arrested 11 persons in the case so far.
Those arrested are Sukhraj Singh, alias Sukha, Ravinder Singh, alias Gian, Akashdeep Arora, alias Dhaliwal, Ravinder Singh Dhillon, alias Ravi, Rakesh Kumar, alias Kala Bahman, Ravi Kumar, Chand Kumar Bhatia, Manpreet Singh, alias Mony, Jagjit Singh, alias Jagga, Jobanjit Singh, alias Joban and Prabhjit Singh, alias Bittu.
The police claimed that the conspiracy to kill Sandhu was hatched in the Patiala and Ferozepur jails by two of the accused Sukh and Gian at the behest of gangster Bhikariwal.
This has put a question mark on the security in Punjab’s jails once again. The state’s prisons have been in limelight for the last few years for allegedly being used by gangsters as havens.
Tarn Taran senior superintendent of police (SSP) Dhruman H Nimbale said, “Sukha is a close associate of Bhikhariwal while Gian is the latter’s cousin. We have also recovered mobile phones at the instance of the accused.”
Gian and Sukha are facing 10 criminal cases each, including murder, attempt to murder and smuggling of arms and drugs. Gian is also a prime accused in the Nabha jail break case.
DIG Mann said, “Gian and Sukha were brought on production warrant. Gian revealed that he and Sukha asked Sukhdeep Singh, alias Bhura and Gurjit Singh, alias Bhaa of Gurdaspur to execute the killing. Bura and Bhaa, who shot Sandhu dead, are absconding.”
Bura and Bhaa, who were out on bail, had kidnapped a girl in Gurdaspur and were looking for a hideout, the police said. Sukha arranged shelter for Bura and Bhaa at accused Chand Kumar’s house through Akashdeep Arora in Ludhiana’s Slaim Tabri area in lieu of killing Sandhu, said the police. Bura and Bhaa were also given Rs 80,000 by Bhikhariwal, they added.
One of the accused, Ravi, according to the police, dismantled the bike used in committing the crime and threw it in the Sutlej river. The others provided logistics, clothing, mobiles, food and financial assistance to Bura and Bhaa, including, it was claimed.
“The motive behind the murder will be ascertained once we arrest the three accused, particularly Bhikaripur, Mann said.
SSP Nimbale said they have not found any radical link in the case so far.