Cricketer Suresh Raina visits Pathankot as kin's attack-murder case cracked

3 arrested, search on for 11 other accused

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said the case of attack and murder involving cricketer Suresh Raina’s kin has been “solved” with the arrest of three members of an inter-state gang of criminals.

Eleven other accused are yet to be arrested, DGP Dinkar Gupta said, giving details of the arrests in the case, which took place on the night of August 19 in Tharyal village in Pathankot.

Meanwhile, the cricketer also visited the village on Wednesday.

Raina’s uncle Ashok Kumar, a contractor, had died on the spot, while his son Kaushal Kumar succumbed to injuries on August 31 and wife Asha Rani is in a hospital in critical condition. Two others injured in the attack had been discharged from the hospital.

Soon after the incident, the Chief Minister had ordered the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under IGP Border Range, Amritsar, with SSP, Pathankot, SP Investigation and DSP, Dhar Kalan, as its members, to investigate the case thoroughly and expeditiously.

On September 15, the SIT received information that three suspects, who were seen at the Defence Road on the morning after the incident, were staying in Jhuggis near the Pathankot Railway Station. A raid was conducted and all three were nabbed.

According to the DGP, two gold rings, one gold chain and Rs 1,530 were recovered, along with two wooden sticks from the arrested accused. They have been identified as Sawan, Muhobbat and Shahrukh Khan. They are residents of Chirawa and Pilani jhuggis in Rajasthan.

Initial investigation has revealed that they were operating as a gang along with others and had committed several such crimes earlier in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and various parts of Punjab, moving to the crime spots in groups of 2-3 following the natural land marks like Canals, railway lines, high-voltage electricity wires, etc.

Sawan, originally a native of Uttar Pradesh, has told the SIT that on August 12, they had moved as a group from Chirawa and Pilani in an auto, owned by one Nausau, also living in the Chirawa jhuggis. 

Nausau accompanied the trio, along with Rashid, Rehan, Jabrana, Waphila, Tawajjal Bibi and an unknown person.      

They reached Jagraon, Ludhiana, where they were joined by three others – Reenda, Golu and Sajan. They left for Pathankot after committing a robbery in Jagraon on the night of August 14.

In Pathankot, one Sanju, who knew the area well, also joined them, said the DGP.

On August 19, around 7-8 pm, they moved in groups of 2-3 persons, as per their modus operandi, and reached a designated spot in the open field where Rashid, Nausau and Sanju @ Chajju went to bring wooden sticks, which they cut from Safeda (Eucalyptus) tree.

They had already identified a shuttering shop during recce of the area earlier, where the bamboo ladders were tied up using chains. The first two houses where they put the ladders turned out to be a godown and an empty home, while the third was of Ashok Kumar. Five of the accused entered the house using the ladder from the side of the roof, where they saw three people lying on the mats. The suspects hit them on the head before moving into the house, where they attacked two others before escaping with cash and gold ornaments, said the DGP.

The accused then crossed the high-tension electricity wires through the open field to reach the Canal, where they separated in groups of twos and threes to reach the railway station. After distributing the cash and jewellery among themselves.

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