New Delhi, June 20
The Delhi Police has arrested three persons, including two shooters, in connection with the killing of popular Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, officials said on Monday, adding that one of them was in touch with Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar at the time of the incident.
Eight grenades along with an under-barrel grenade launcher, nine electric detonators, one assault rifle along with 20 cartridges, three sophisticated pistols, 36 rounds and part of an AK series assault rifle have been seized from them, police said. The explosives were a part of backup plan in case the weapons did not work, they said.
The accused have been identified as Priyavrat alias Fauji (26), a resident of Sonepat in Haryana, Kashish (24), also from the state's Jhajjar district, and Keshav Kumar (29), a resident of Bhatinda in Punjab, they said.
The police said Priyavrat led a team of shooters and was in direct touch with Brar at the time of the incident. He is the main shooter and executioner of the murder, police said. The trio were arrested on June 19 from Kutch in Gujarat, police said.
The accused called Brar, who claimed responsibility for the killing, after the incident and told him "the job was done", police said.
HGS Dhaliwal, special commissioner of police, special cell, said the accused had conducted recces around eight to nine times before executing the murder. The police carried out raids at multiple locations to nab the accused, the officer said at a media briefing.
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, known as Sidhu Moosewala, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Punjab's Mansa district on May 29.
According to Dhaliwal, there were two active modules that carried out the killing in two cars -- Bolero and Corolla.
Those in the Bolero car was headed by Priyavrat and the car was being driven by Kashish. In the Corolla, a man named Jagroop was driving the vehicle while Manpreet alias Mannu was accompanying him, police said.
Mannu first fired at Moosewala from an AK-47 assault rifle after overtaking the singer's Thar jeep. Later, all the accused got down from the two vehicles and started firing at Moosewala, police said, adding that they left only after confirming that the singer had been killed.
After the incident, Priyavrat and his three associates left their car and were picked up by Kumar. They went to Fatehpur in Punjab and stayed there for sometime while Mannu and Jagroop went to other place after the incident, police said.
Priyavrat was the one who coordinated and executed the entire operation under the instruction and direct contact with Goldy Brar, police said.
Inputs were generated through different means and multiple teams were sent to Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and other states to collect information, police said.
On Sunday, information was received that some shooters were hiding at Baroi village in Kutch. Based on the input, all the three accused were arrested, Dhaliwal said.
The high explosive grenades are designed for use with grenade launchers. The recovered grenade launcher can be mounted on AK-47 assault rifles, they said, adding that the grenades were imported.
According to the police, in 2021, the Special Cell had registered a case under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the organized crime syndicate of Lawrence Bishnoi-Kala Jathedi.
During investigation of the case, 16 criminals, including Bishnoi, Sampat Nehra, Sandeep alias Kala Jathedi and Virender Partap alias Kala Rana, were earlier arrested.
A recent case of murderous assault on a realtor of Uttam Nagar in March was also solved by Special Cell after 11 people of this criminal syndicate were arrested.
This criminal nexus committed the murder of Moosewala and also claimed the same on different social media channels. It also came to our knowledge that they have used AK series assault rifle and are also in possession of even more sophisticated weapons, including grenade launcher, police said.
Police said the arrest of Priyavrat, Kashish and Keshav in this MCOCA case is in continuation of the persistent efforts of the Special Cell against the Lawrence Bishnoi-Kala Jathedi gang.
Priyavrat was seen in CCTV footage of a petrol pump prior to the incident. He was previously involved in two murder cases and was arrested in 2015 in one of them in Sonipat and also wanted in another murder case in Sonipat in 2021, police said. Kashish was also seen in the CCTV footage. He is wanted in a 2021 murder case in Haryana's Jhajjar, they said.
Kumar was the facilitator and conducted multiple recces with the shooters. He received the shooters just after the shootout in an Alto car. He accompanied them till Mansa on the day of incident, police said, adding that he was previously arrested in a murder case in Bathinda in 2020 and suspected to be involved in other cases of extortion in Punjab. The accused kept some reserved weapons in Haryana's Hisar district which has also been recovered, they said.
Punjab Police had earlier said Sandeep alias Kekda had kept tabs on the singer's movements on the directions of Goldy Brar and Sachin Thapan by posing as his fan.
Accused sent in police custody
Meanwhile, a Delhi court sent the three accused in police custody for two weeks after the Delhi Police Special Cell submitted that they were required to be quizzed to unearth the larger conspiracy.
Police told the court that Priyavrat led a team of shooters and was in direct touch with Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar at the time of the incident. He is the main shooter and executioner of the murder, police said.
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