Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 13
The interrogation of Ashish Kumar, the main supplier of arms to gangsters and terrorists, has led the Punjab Police to a major crackdown on illegal arms suppliers.
He was a key aide of slain Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Happy PhD.
The police have arrested 23 men, including gunhouse owners and two gangsters, and cracked down on several gunhouses for allegedly supplying arms to criminals.
In all, 36 weapons were seized during raids in Ferozepur range and adjoining states of Haryana and Rajasthan. Four gunhouses were sealed. The seized arms included 14 double barrel breach loading (DBBL) 12-bore guns, four single barrel breach loading (SBBL) 12-bore guns, five 32-bore pistols, a 45-bore pistol, three 30-bore pistols, a 25-bore pistol and two carbines. A statewide audit of arms dealers and gunhouses is in progress.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta has said the investigation into the supply of illegal arms to criminals, especially gangsters, began with the arrest of ‘A’ category gangster Sukhpreet Singh, alias Budda, in November last year. The weapons supplied to Budda and his accomplices were used in the attack on Punjabi singer Parmish Verma in Mohali in April 2018, and committing murders, dacoities and extortions, the police have said. Gupta further said Ashish supplied illegal weapons to Dharminder Gugni, one of the main accused in the targeted killing of Brig Jagdish Gagneja (retd), and most-wanted criminals Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, Davinder Bambhia and Sukha Kahlwan. Based on Ashish’s interrogation, the two gangsters to be nabbed were Gurpreet Singh, alias Laddi, wanted in 20 criminal cases, and Neeraj Kumar, alias Dhiraj Batta, wanted in 13 cases.
Among the gunhouse owners to be arrested were Kapil Dev of Jalalabad in Fazilka district. He allegedly supplied illegal arms and ammunition to criminals. In all, 14 illegal weapons have been recovered on the basis of his disclosure.
Amar Setia, proprietor of Setia gunhouse, was also arrested. He was earlier involved in preparing fake arms licences and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. His licence was cancelled. Gunhouse proprietors Harish Kumar Rishu of Abohar, Sandeep Bishnoi of Ellenabad (Haryana) and Surinder, alias Sumi Godhara, of Hanumangarh (Rajasthan) were also held.