M A I N   N E W S

Drug traffickers gun down ASI near Phagwara 
Dharmendra Joshi & Ashok Kaura/TNS

Phagwara, April 1
In a sensational murder, Gurdev Singh (52), an ASI posted with highway patrol party, was shot dead by four assailants near a restaurant located on the Phagwara-Jalandhar road at 12.45 am today.

The assailants escaped in a white Verna car having the registration number PB 08 6162. After watching the CCTV footage procured from the restaurant, the police has identified them as professional drug traffickers, police sources said. Raids were being conducted to nab the culprits against whom several cases under the NDPS Act had been registered at different police stations, including one at Panchkula, the sources added.

The police has reportedly rounded up several persons, including some from Nihaluwal village near Shahkot, for questioning. The assailants reportedly fired four shots at the ASI. One of these hit him on the chest and another on the waist.

According to information, Binder, head constable in the four-member highway patrol team, went inside the washroom of the restaurant where he noticed some suspicious movement.

He knocked at the door but there was no response. The head constable came out and informed the ASI that there was something fishy inside. A person in the meantime carrying a black bag came out running from the washroom and tried to escape. The ASI chased him. As the person fell in a deep pit, the ASI caught him. But one of the three persons in a car that came out from the restaurant fired four shots at the ASI, injuring him seriously.

One person alighted from the car, took hold of the bag, pulled out the ASIís wallet from his pocket following which they all fled. Three policemen - Balkar, Baljit and Binder - of the highway patrol, who reached there, fired at them but in vain. The injured ASI was taken to the civil hospital where he was declared brought dead.

IG (Jalandhar) Gurpreet Deo said that a Red alert was immediately sounded and each and every car was checked after the incident.

The situation became tense when ASIís kin refused to get the postmortem done at Phagwara Civil hospital. They wanted the autopsy to happen in the presence of forensic experts in Amritsar. Later, SSP Kapurthala Inderbir Singh pacified ASI's kin after which the postmortem was conducted. Later, the body was handed over to the family. The police has identified two attackers. Also, a cellphone belonging to one of the attackers has been found at the scuffle site, said sources.





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