Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced that 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 robber-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 19th August in Village Tharyal of PS Shahpurkandi, District Pathankot.
Raina’s uncle Ashok Kumar, a contractor, had died on the spot, while his son Kaushal Kumar succumbed to injuries on 31st August and wife Asha Rani is in hospital in critical condition. Two others injured in the attack had been discharged from hospital.
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, a gold ring bearing AK, one Ladies Ring, one Ladies Gold chain and Rs. 1530/- were recovered, along with two wooden sticks. The arrested accused were identified as Sawan @ Matching, Muhobbat and Shahrukh Khan, currently residents of Chirawa and Pilani jhuggis, District Jhunjhunu, 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 & 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 12th August, they had moved as a group from Chirawa and Pilani in an auto (PB 02 G 9025), 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 purchased an Aari, 02 pliers and one screw driver from a hardware shop and few Kacha Banyan (under garments) from garment shop in Ludhiana. They left for Pathankot after committing a robbery in Jagraon on the night of 14th August.
In Pathankot, one Sanju, who knew the area well, also joined them, said the DGP, adding that the gang conducted a recee of the area, according to Pathankot SSP Gulneet Khurana.
On the night of 19th August, at 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.
During the recce they had already identified a shuttering shop, 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, they dispersed.
Further investigations are in progress to arrest the 11 absconders, including one identified person, and solve other robberies in which the gang members were involved.