3 gangsters, bookie booked for Amritsar councillor’s murder | punjab | amritsar | Hindustan Times
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3 gangsters, bookie booked for Amritsar councillor’s murder

Police claim old rivalry, and resentment against Gurdeep’s recent moves to check the illegal business of bookies in the city, as possible motives

punjab Updated: Jun 03, 2018 20:17 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Deceased Congress councillor Gudeep Pehlwan.
Deceased Congress councillor Gudeep Pehlwan. (HT Photo)

Police have booked three gangsters and a bookie, among others, for the murder of sitting Congress councillor, Pehlwan Gurdeep Singh, 42, on Friday evening. Police claim old rivalry, and resentment against Gurdeep’s recent moves to check the illegal business of bookies in the city, as possible motives. Seven people have been named, with others remaining unidentified.

Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, who is lodged in Hoshiarpur jail, and his aides Karan Masti and Bobby Malhotra are among those booked. Police sources said Bhagwanpuria had hired the three killers who gunned down Gurdeep, with Malhotra, a close aide helping in the planning. Malhotra is lodged in Bathinda jail. Jaggu had also threatened to kill Gurdeep in 2015. The bookie has been identified as local resident Sonu Mota. Others who have been booked are Sonu Kangla, a drug peddler, and Rinka Amar and Angrej Singh of Amritsar.

Friday’s incident had taken place at 7.15pm, hours after state police chief Suresh Arora had expressed ‘satisfaction’ over security measures taken by Amritsar police in the wake of the June 6 Operation Bluestar anniversary.

Two-member team formed

DCP (city) Amrik Singh Pawar told HT, “Seven people by name and others have been booked. It was old enmity between Jaggu Bhagwanpuria and the councillor that led to the murder. A case has been registered. DCP (investigation) Jagmohan Singh will lead the team that will probe the incident. Additional deputy commissioner Harjit Singh is also on the team.”

The police did not disclose the First-Information Report (FIR) registered at the Civil Lines police station, only saying that the case had been registered on the complaint of family members. The DCP added the case had been registered under sections 302 (murder), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the IPC and section 25-54-59 of the Arms Act.

Manjit Singh Bobby, a friend of the councillor, claimed that Bhagwanpuria had been nursing a grudge against Gurdeep since 2014 when he had testified against the gangster in a murder case. “Bobby Malhotra also nursed an old enmity with Gurdeep,” Booby added.

Sources also claimed that one of the gangsters had called up a friend of Gurdeep and had taken responsibility for the murder. Police, however, did not confirm or deny this. Amritsar mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu said, “The councillor had been taking a stand against goons of the city. The accused must be arrested immediately.”

Thousands of Congress workers, citizens and leaders of different political parties, thronged the cremation ground at the Durgiana Temple to take part in Gurdeep’s last journey. The body had arrived there at at 3.15pm. Local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, education minister OP Soni, Punjab BJP president Shwait Malik, former minister Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, former minister Anil Joshi, Congress MLAs Raj Kumar Verka, Sunil Dutti and Inderbir Singh Bolaria were also present.