Midnight shooting in Mohali: ‘Parmish Verma was getting extortion calls for two months’
The attack on Punjabi singer and music director Parmish Verma was the result of not complying with extortion calls being made by Punjab gangsters, said police officials investigating the case on Sunday.
The Mohali police have also rounded up a close aide of Dilpreet Singh — one of the gangsters who claimed responsibility for the attack — from Baddi on Sunday.
Parmish Verma, 31, of ‘Gaal ni kadni (Don’t abuse)’ fame and his friend Kulwant Singh Chahal were shot at in Mohali at 12:30am on Saturday when they were returning from an event in Chandigarh. Both were hit in the leg, but are “stable and recovering well”, according to the release of Fortis Hospital, where they are admitted, on Sunday.
Cops, privy to the investigation, said Parmish was receiving threats for past two months.
“Gangsters had been calling him through WhatsApp. Initially, they demanded ₹10 lakh, following which Parmish switched to another number,” said a cop, on the condition of anonymity. “Even senior police officers in the district were aware of these extortion calls as Parmish had informed them about it.”
Mohali senior superintendent of police Kuldeep Singh Chahal, who was first to know about the attack on getting Parmish’s call, said: “We are look into all possibilities behind the attack. As part of investigations we are questioning several people and have also rounded up one person.”
‘Credit war to instil fear’
Parmish is not the only one facing threats. At least six members of the Punjabi music fraternity, who talked to HT on the condition of anonymity, said singers who are in demand for live events and concerts are the prime targets of gangsters. Many have even complied with the extortion demand, they said.
Besides Dilpreet, Sampat Nehra of Lawrence Bishnoi gang has also claimed credit for the Mohali shooting. Nehra had freed an undertrial from police custody at the government hospital in Panchkula on June 17 last year. Earlier, he had been booked for murder bid on a Kharar resident at Sector 27, Chandigarh, in December 2016 besides shooting at two people in Zirakpur over — what police called — an old enmity.
Police officials said the gangsters are vying for “credit” to get noticed among Punjabi music and film stars.
“It will instil fear among other members of the music and film fraternity and make it easier for these gangsters to extort money,” said a cop, privy to the investigation.
Last year, interrogation of Lawrence Bishnoi, who was brought to Mohali from the Faridkot jail, had revealed that the gang used to make extortion calls from inside the jail as well.
Targets were prominent singers, arhtiyas (commission agents) and businessmen. Money was used to purchase weapons and arrange for hideouts, the police had said.
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