Sarpanch’s murder: WhatsApp calling used to pass instructions to contract killers 

Satnam Singh, sarpanch of Khurd village in Hoshiarpur district, was shot dead in broad daylight by three assailants outside a gurdwara in Sector 38 (West), Chandigarh, on April 9, 2017

punjab Updated: Feb 16, 2018 15:28 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Sarpanch’s murder,WhatsApp calling,contract killers
Victim Satnam Singh

The broad daylight murder of Hoshiarpur sarpanch Satnam Singh, alias Bittu, 38, outside a gurdwara in Sector 38 (West), Chandigarh, on April 9, was a contract killing.

Manjit Singh, alias Bobby, 27, a resident of Rana village in Garhdiwala, is learnt to have told Chandigarh Police during investigation.He is in a five-day police remand for his involvement in the murder of the sarpanch.

However, with the accused using WhatsApp for calling to give instructions is posing a challenge for Chandigarh Police. The messaging app, WhatsApp, has end-to-end encryption, which means any calls made or messages sent through the app are encoded in a way that they can't be intercepted by a third party, even by WhatsApp itself.

Police officials said the shooters, Harvinder Singh Rinda of Sarhali, Tartaran, Dilpreet Singh of Noorpur Bedi and Hajinder Singh alias Akash of Nanded, Maharashtra, who executed the murder while Bobby waited for them in the car, were contract killers.

The accused were not carrying any mobile phones while executing the crime; they had received instructions on the voice recorded message.

Must read | Sarpanch murder case: ‘Satnam was killed because he refused to step down as witness’

Links with Vicky Gounder

Sources said the killers --- Rinda, Dilpreet and Harjinder, had links with the Vicky Gounder gang. Harjinder Singh Bhullar, alias Vicky Gounder, was recently shot dead by Punjab Police in an encounter. It was one of the accused Chanpreet Singh alias Channa who had come in contact with Vicky Gounder in jail.

The case

Satnam Singh, sarpanch of Khurd village in Hoshiarpur district, was shot dead in broad daylight by three assailants outside a gurdwara in Sector 38 (West), Chandigarh, on April 9, 2017. The sarpanch was rushed to the PGIMER where he later succumbed to his injuries. Satnam, along with his family and devotees, had come to Chandigarh to pay obeisance at the gurdwara.

Later, a video that was made by a woman, on her mobile phone, was received by the police and it was established that the three assailants who were seen shooting the victim were Dilpreet, Harjinder, and Rinda. They are still at large.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 15:27 IST