Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 2
Punjab Police said on Tuesday that they have arrested the man they claim masterminded a gold heist in Ludhiana in January this year---an act police claim was done to help mobilise funds for a series of targeted pro-Khalistani killings in the state.
Police said a special team of Organized Crime Control Unit (OCCU) arrested Tejinder Singh, who goes by the name Teja, from SAS Nagar on Monday. Singh is believed to have masterminded a heist of two kilogrammes of gold in Ludhiana in January this year.
Punjab’s Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said in a press statement that they found uniforms of Punjab Police and Seema Suraksha Bal and an ID card with Tejinder Singh, a prime suspect in a car-jacking incident in Kharar earlier this month.
Police suspect Singh was planning to use the uniform and the ID to gain access to restricted areas of the state for criminal and militant activities. Gupta said police also found a Chinese 30 caliber Pistol, 10 cartridges and one Chevrolet Optra car with Singh.
Police said the suspect had several fake identity cards such as an Aadhaar card and a driver’s licence from Noida to evade arrest.
DGP Dinkar Gupta said Singh stayed in Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana while he was on the run.
Singh has more than 25 criminal cases against him, including murder, and has been arrested several times before. Police suspect he came in contact with some militants and was possibly radicalised while he was in jail.
Gupta said preliminary investigations showed that he and an associate Rachpal Singh were planning to loot a SBI bank van while it transported cash to ATMs in Maur and Talwandi Sabo. Police also suspect both he and his associate had smuggled in some sophisticated weapons from across the border in December 2019, when he was released from prison, and were recently waiting for a new consignment.
Both Tejinder Singh and his associate Rachpal Singh have been booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
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