Attack on Parmish Verma: Punjab gangsters’ boastful Facebook posts have cops at wit’s end
Police sources said the accused had used WhatsApp to make extortion calls to singer Parmish Verma. With the app having end-to-end encryption, any calls made or messages sent through it can't be intercepted by a third party, even WhatsApp itself.punjab Updated: Apr 19, 2018 10:50 IST
The increasing use of social media — be it Facebook or WhatsApp — by gangsters in Punjab as a platform to boast of their activities, has become a challenge for police.
Gangster Dilpreet Singh had recently taken to the social media hours after Punjabi singer Parmish Verma and his friend Kulwant Singh Chahal, were shot at in Sector 74, Mohali, on the intervening night of April 13 and 14. The two were discharged from Fortis Hospital, Mohali, on Wednesday.
A day later, Dilpreet had again taken to Facebook threatening to strike again and firing 500 bullets to kill Parmish. He had even named his accomplices who were with him at the time of attack as Akash Maharastar, Harinder Singh Maharastar and Sukhpreet Singh Buddha.His Facebook page has 11,506 followers.
Earlier, Dilpreet had been using WhatsApp’s calling feature to make extortion calls to Parmish.
Extortion calls made via WhatsApp
Police sources said the accused had used WhatsApp to make extortion calls to Parmish. With the app having end-to-end encryption, any calls made or messages sent through it can't be intercepted by a third party, even by WhatsApp itself, making it difficult for investigators to track the calls.
Crime Investigation Agency of Mohali Police has already started monitoring Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp pages and groups to maintain a list of gangsters’ sympathisers.
Family of gangster’s aide move court
Police on April 15 had arrested Dilpreet’s aide Harvinder Singh alias Happy from Baddi in Himachal Pradesh. Investigators claimed Happy provided shelter to the gangster, and identified businessman for extortion.He is currently in the custody of the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA).
On Wednesday, Happy’s family moved a plea before the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) alleging they were not being allowed to meet him. Allowing the application, the court issued a notice to the police asking them to explain why his family was not being allowed to meet Happy. The police will file a reply on Thursday, as the investigating officer failed to reach the court on time.
Three rounded up for updating Dilpreet’s FB page
The police on Wednesday rounded up three youths for updating Dilpreet’s Facebook page on his behalf. “We have identified youths who were updating Dilpreet’s Facebook account. These activities are being carried out from within Punjab as well as abroad,” said a senior police official, privy to the investigation.
“We appeal to the youth to refrain from sharing and uploading posts of gangsters, as they are also liable to criminal action,” said Kuldeep Singh Chahal, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Mohali.
He added, “Anyone found posting videos or pictures of weapons or highlighting activities of gangsters will face action. If needed, police will get the account blocked.”
Notably, the Crime Investigation Agency of Mohali Police has already started monitoring Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp pages and groups to maintain a list of gangsters’ sympathisers. The lists will be forwarded to police stations and station house officer (SHO) concerned, who will visit the houses of sympathisers to inform their families about their activities, and warn them against promoting gangsters and their lifestyle.