Sector 33 attack

Car identified, hunt on for assailants

Liquor baron Arvind names disgruntled associates, who are being grilled

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 1

The UT police have identified the Ford Ikon car that was used by the assailants, who opened indiscriminate fire at hotelier and businessman Rakesh Singla's house in Sector 33 yesterday. Rakesh's brother Arvind Singla, a liquor contractor, has disclosed the names of some disgruntled associates, who could be behind the attack.

These associates are being contacted and questioned by the police. Sources said the call records of the suspects would also be scrutinised.

The police said they had got the registration number of the car and police teams had been sent to three different cities of Punjab, where the suspects were believed to be hiding. The mobile tower dump data of the crime scene is also being obtained to establish the mobile numbers that were active in the area at the time of the incident.

The police are assuming that it is the handiwork of some professionals, who executed the plan fearlessly.

Sources said the police were also gathering information about gangsters who were active in neighbouring states.

The Singla brothers have denied having received any extortion calls, but the police are not ruling out the extortion theory.

A police official said the motive behind the attack was still unclear. While CCTV cameras installed at Rakesh’s house were not working for almost a year, the police have collected the footage of cameras installed outside Arvind’s house.

In a CCTV grab, one of the assailants is seen talking to a cop, who was on duty outside Arvind's house.

Sources said the assailants were speaking in Haryanavi dialect.

Meanwhile, armed cops of the Chandigarh Police have been stationed outside hotelier Rakesh Singla’s house. The cops on duty are keeping an eye on the visitors to the house.

Was at centre of political slugfest

Arvind Singla was recently at the centre of a political slugfest between Congress politicians and a top Punjab bureaucrat, with the former accusing him of being a partner of the latter’s son in a bottling plant in the Doaba region of Punjab. Later, the bureaucrat had denied that his son was a partner of any liquor contractor.

After father's death, brothers had parted ways

Sources said after the death of their father, Rakesh and Arvind had parted ways and segregated their business. Arvind got the liquor business, while Rakesh got hospitality and other businesses.

Arvind among top liquor barons

Arvind Singla is among the major liquor contractors of the region with around 500 vends in Punjab and at least 12 in UT. Arvind has bottling plants in the UT and Dera Bassi, besides a brewery.

Took paid security

Sources in the UT police said Arvind took security from the Punjab Police five years ago on a payment basis as huge cash transfers were involved in his business. A year later, he stopped paying for it. However, the police still continued to provide security to him.

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