2 minors among 3 arrested for Dera man’s murder in Punjab

The Delhi Police special cell Friday apprehended three individuals, including two minors, who were allegedly among those who shot dead Dera Sachha Sauda member Pardeep Kataria in Faridkot’s Kotkapura Thursday morning, officers said, identifying one of them as Rohtak resident Jitender, 26, and the juveniles from Rohtak and Bhiwani in Haryana.

Kataria, 38, an accused in the 2015 Bargari sacrilege case, was out on bail at the time of his murder. He was opening up his dairy store at 7.15 am when six assailants fired at him. The police said the assailants fired at him 55 times, and also injuring a bystander and one of the security personnel provided to him. Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar claimed responsibility for the murder as “revenge” for the sacrilege matter.

Delhi Police said a raid was launched at around 3am Friday at Bakshiwala village in Punjab’s Patiala district. They said that there had been four assailants from a Haryana module, of which the fourth, known as Hooda, is absconding, while two others are from a Punjab module.

In Faridkot, SSP Rajpal Singh they have identified the duo. Both are Faridkot residents and have been named in the FIR registered in the case. The SSP said raids are being conducted to nab the duo.

Police added that the modules were being independently handled by Goldy Brar, who is a key accused in Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala’s murder and is an associate of gangsters Harvinder Singh ‘Rinda’ and the incarcerated Lawrence Bishnoi. The hideout from which the accused were arrested had been arranged by him.

DCP (Counterintelligence) Manishi Chandra said, “Jitender is an old associate of Bishnoi, Brar and Kala Jathedi. The two juveniles were connected to Brar via Ankit Sirsa, also an accused in Moosewala’s murder who was earlier arrested by the special cell.”

The DCP said that Jitender had been on the run from police for a long time, as he was absconding in a case of double murder committed in January in Ambala. He had been identified from the CCTV footage of Kataria’s murder, while leads from previous investigations into gangster-terrorist networks had helped to locate the accused.

Three pistols along with ammunition have been recovered so far. Pardeep’s mortal remains were cremated Friday in Faridkot after senior police officials met his family and Dera state committee members and assured them of expediting the investigation. IG, Ferozepur range, Jaskaran Singh said,”The family only wants a fair investigation and arrest”.

Meanwhile, Pardeep’s father Jaspal Singh said it has not been proven that his son was involved in the sacrilege incident. His wife Simran Kaur said, “Some anti-social forces want to spoil the environment of Punjab.”

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