The Delhi Police’s Special Cell has apprehended, from Punjab’s Patiala, three persons, including two juveniles, who were among the six assailants that shot dead a Dera Sacha Sauda follower and sacrilege case accused, an official said on Friday.
The accused has been identified as Jitender alias Jeetu and two juveniles, all from Haryana.
Pradeep Singh Kataria, 38, an accused in the 2015 Bargari sacrilege case, was shot dead in his shop at Kotkapura in Punjab’s Faridkot on Thursday evening, even while having Punjab Police protection.
The entire incident was captured in a CCTV camera installed nearby. The accused had fired 55 bullets at him.
Later, in a social media post, Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar of the Lawrence Bishnoi syndicate, which carried out the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala in May, took responsibility for the killing of Kataria.
In the audacious attack, while Kataria had died on the spot, his Punjab Police gunman and another shopkeeper had sustained bullet injuries.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Manishi Chandra, the counter-intelligence unit of Special Cell was on lookout for Jitender for quite a long time after his name cropped up in the murder of Pramod Bajad on January 27, this year, in Delhi’s Alipur area and a double murder in Haryana’s Ambala area.
“When the CCTV footages of Kataria murder went viral over social media, the police team identified one of the assailants as none other than Jitender. The previous investigations of Special Cell concerning gangster-terrorist networks in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan had provided sufficient leads to take a deep dive in the Kataria’s killing which had the potential of shattering the peace of Punjab,” said the DCP.
“We began an intensive and multi-dimensional search which led the team to Bakshiwala, Patiala, Punjab, where the presently apprehended accused had taken shelter at a hideout arranged by Goldy Brar,” said the DCP.
“On initial interrogation, it was revealed that there were a total of six assailants, four from Haryana and two from Punjab and the different modules were being handled independently by Canada-based Goldy Brar, associate of fugitive Harvinder Singh alias Rinda and jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi,” said the official.
“Around 55 bullets were fired and around 30 were fired by the apprehended trio. From the possession of the accused, three sophisticated pistols and several live ammunition rounds have been recovered,” said the DCP.
“It has also been learnt that while accused Jitender is an old associate of Lawrence Bishnoi – Goldy Brar – Kala Jathedi, the two juveniles were connected to Goldy Brar through Ankit Sirsa, an accused in the murder of Sidhu Moosewala, who was earlier arrested by Special Cell,” he added.