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Patiala petrol pump robbery: Punjabi University student among two held

Main accused still on the run

punjab Updated: Jun 23, 2018 13:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Patiala petrol pump robbery,highway robbery,Punjabi University

Five days after two persons were killed by three armed robbers during a petrol pump heist here, two accused, including a student of the Punjabi University, were arrested on Friday. However, the main accused is still absconding.

The arrested accused were identified as Sikander Singh, a first-year student of MA philosophy in Punjabi University, who hails from Dhadrian village of Sangrur district and Harpreet Singh of Saifdipur village, located behind the university.

Police have launched a manhunt to arrest the third accused, identified as Lakhandeep Singh alias Waris Randhawa of Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district.

Inspector general of police (IGP) AS Rai said the accused were drug addicts and under “high influence” of smack and liquor at the time of the crime.

“All three accused are history-sheeters, who were declared proclaimed offenders in cases of snatching and robbery in several police stations,” the IGP said.

He added that Sikander was putting up in a paying guest accommodation near the university and Lakhandeep, who was known to him, was staying with him for the past few days.

“The accused did a recce at two petrol pumps on Patiala-Zirakpur highway before committing the crime. They fired at the victims before looting Rs 11,000 from them,” Rai said.

Police said that on the basis of the CCTV footage gathered from the crime spot, the investigators zeroed in on Lakhandeep and found technical evidence about his presence in the area.

“Police first arrested Harpreet and during his interrogation, he revealed Sikander’s role in the robbery. Later, Sikandar was arrested too,” Rai said.

On links of the accused with the gangsters, the IGP said Lakhandeep is a notorious character as several cases have been registered against him in border areas.

Meanwhile, police recovered two weapons, .315 bore and .32 bore pistols, and a Royal Enfield (Bullet) motorcycle (PB 13AZ 4456) used in the crime. The bike is owned by Sikander. Police also confiscated 300gm drug from their possession.

On June 17, the trio held employees of the Guru Nanak filling station at Chamarheri village captive at gunpoint. The assailants fired at Kuldeep Singh, a driver who was refuelling his truck. The assailants then asked one of the employees, Laddi, to hand over the money. They frisked him and found Rs 6,000 in his pocket. They then searched Kuldeep, who was lying in a pool of blood, and took away Rs 5,000 from him.

Hearing the gunshots, Davinder Singh of Alampur village, who was sitting at his friend’s dhaba adjacent the petrol pump, reached the spot and tried to nab one of the robbers. The robbers fired two gunshots at Davinder and attacked him with a sharp-edged weapon. Both Kuldeep and Davinder died on the spot.

QUOTE All the three accused are history-sheeters, who have been declared proclaimed offenders in cases like snatching and robbery in several police stations.
AS Rai, inspector general of police

First Published: Jun 23, 2018 13:03 IST