2 shooters linked to Sidhu Moosewala’s murder killed in Punjab gunfight

Updated on Jul 21, 2022 06:13 AM IST

The encounter began around 10.40am after the two men -- Jagroop Singh alias Roopa and Manpreet Singh alias Manu Kusa – were found holed up in an abandoned building in Hoshiar Nagar village, ringed by green fields of maize.

Punjab Police personnel at the site of an encounter in which two gangsters Jagroop Singh Roopa and Manpreet Singh alias 'Mannu Kusa', were killed, in Amritsar.(PTI)
Punjab Police personnel at the site of an encounter in which two gangsters Jagroop Singh Roopa and Manpreet Singh alias 'Mannu Kusa', were killed, in Amritsar.(PTI)
ByAnil Sharma

Punjab Police shot dead two men allegedly linked to the gangland-style killing of singer Sidhu Moosewala after a five-hour gunfight at an abandoned building near the India-Pakistan border in Amritsar district on Wednesday.

The encounter began around 10.40am after the two men -- Jagroop Singh alias Roopa and Manpreet Singh alias Manu Kusa – were found holed up in an abandoned building in Hoshiar Nagar village, ringed by green fields of maize. The area is 14km from the India-Pakistan border at Attari. Gunfire intensified around noon, and at 4.15pm, the police announced that the two men had been killed.

Also Read| 36 cops, 10 cars took Moosewala murder suspects to Punjab's Mansa from Tihar

“I congratulate Punjab Police and the anti-gangster task force for the huge success achieved today in the campaign launched by my government against gangster culture and anti-social elements. Peace and brotherhood in Punjab will be maintained at all cost,” said Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Twitter.

Police said the two men allegedly shot at Moosewala on May 29 with an AK-47 rifle. The two men were allegedly in a car that was trailing Moosewala’s vehicle at Jawahar Ke village in Mansa district but switched to another stolen vehicle that was later found abandoned in Moga district, police said.

Singer and politician Shubdeep Singh Sidhu, better known as Sidhu Moosewala, was gunned down near his native village on May 29 in a crime that sent shockwaves through the state and prompted the government to announce a crackdown on gangsters who were held responsible for the sensational crime.

Police blame Delhi gangster Lawrence Bishnoi and Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar for the crime and have identified six shooters belonging to two groups. Three of them -- Priyavrat Fauji, Kashish and Ankit Sirsa who allegedly belong to the Haryana module – were arrested by Delhi Police between June 20 and July 14.With the killing of Roopa and Kusa, only one alleged shooter, Deepak Mundi of Haryana, is now at large.

Police also recovered an AK-47 rifle and a .30 mm pistol from the house. Additional director general of police (ADGP) and head of AGTF Pramod Bhan said, “We have also recovered a big bag, which will be examined by our forensic experts team.” Three policemen and a Punjabi television journalist sustained bullet injuries.

At around 10.08 am, eyewitnesses reported a Mahindra Thar and Toyota Corolla approaching the abandoned house and Roopa and Kusa stepping out to enter the house. Within 12 minutes, a plainclothes police team reached the spot and cordoned it off, asking local residents to vacate the area. By 10.40am, bullets were flying across the field as policemen exchanged bullets with the two gangsters, who were firing from inside the one-storey, white brick-and-cement building.

“Punjab Police warned them and asked them to surrender, but they continuously fired at the police teams. The house was surrounded by AGTF and Mansa police teams, and the Amritsar rural police cordoned off the area. The duo accused were killed in heavy exchange of fire,” Bhan said.

He said the scene of the crime was preserved and forensic experts teams were on the spot. “Following the directions of the National Human Rights Commission and the courts, proper videography, photography are being done in presence of a magistrate,” he added.

Locals described the dramatic events of the day. Gurbhej Singh of Cheecha village, who was harvesting fodder with seven other people, said police reached the spot within minutes of the Thar and Corolla cars arriving at the house in the morning. “We were not even allowed to take away the fodder cutting machine,” he added.

Also Read| Shooters linked to Sidhu Moosewala case changed location 58 times: Delhi cops

He said the house belonged to a local villager but was abandoned years ago. Police refused to reveal the identity of the owner of the house and said it was part of the investigation.

People of three villages—Hoshiar Nagar, Cheecha and Bhakna—said they were asked not to leave their homes. Barricades were installed on link roads leading to the house, around three to four kms away, as the area turned into a fortress. Police used bullet proof vehicles to surround the house and retaliate.

Police said Kusa committed three murders and was involved in two unsuccessful bids on the directions of gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi and Goldy Brar since September.

Both men were spotted in rural Moga three weeks after the crime. Close-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage from Samalsar in Moga district showed Roopa and Kusa riding a stolen bike on June 21. Samalsar is around 100 km from Jawahar ke village in Mansa district, where Moosewala was shot dead.

“It seems they took shelter in the neighbouring districts of Mansa as they were spotted in CCTV footage at Samalsar on June 21. It was found that they were travelling on a stolen bike. As per the CCTV trail, they moved towards Tarn Taran district,”a Mansa police official said, requesting anonymity.

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