In an extensive and planned operation, the Punjab Police have busted an inter-state gang backed by gangsters, Lawrence Bishnoi and Harwinder Rinda, with the arrest of their 11 members after recovering nine weapons, Additional DGP Anti-Gangster Task Force (AGTF) Promod Ban said on Thursday.
The operation was carried out by the Jalandhar Rural Police.
Those arrested have been identified as Mohammad Yaseen Akhtar, alias Jaisy Purewal, Sagar Singh, Amar Malik, Navi, Ankush Sabharwal, Sumit Jaswal, Amandeep, Shiv Kumar, Vishal, Arun Kumar and Annu. All are history-sheeters and have been facing cases of heinous crimes.
ADGP Ban, who was accompanied by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jalandhar Rural Swapan Sharma, said this group was active in several neighbouring states and had been involved in crimes, including murder, attempt to murder, armed dacoity, organised extortion, dacoity, robbery, and drug smuggling.
“With their arrest, Punjab Police has thwarted at least seven murders, two police custody escapes, and four armed robberies,” he added.
The ADGP said, as per preliminary investigations, the gang was being operated by Vikram Brar, an associate of Goldy Brar on the directions of Harwinder Singh, alias Rinda.
Notably, Brar, a resident of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, is currently residing abroad and is wanted by the police of six states. He is a classmate of Lawrence Bishnoi and is active on social media.
Giving details about arrested persons, SSP Sharma said Akhtar had been missing for a year. A prodigy of Brar and Lawrence, he was involved in at least 16 criminal activities.
He said another accused Ankush has six criminal cases registered against him. He is accused of providing shelter to Saurav Mahakal of Maharashtra, who was arrested by Pune Police. Along with Mahakal, he committed three crimes in Punjab, during Mahakal’s two-month stay in the state.
The SSP said Arun Kumar has been operating on the behest of the Lawrence-Jaggu Bhagwanpuria group.
The arrested gang had planned Mani Rana’s escape from the police custody during a court hearing in Una in Himachal Pradesh, he said, while adding that Sumit Jaswal was involved in doing recce and organising logistics for this escape attempt.
“With the arrest of this gang, the backbone of organised criminal activities in the Doaba region has been broken,” he added.
In the past two months, the Jalandhar Rural Police have arrested 32 gang members affiliated with various jailed gangsters and recovered 38 weapons from their possession, an official statement said.