'Most-wanted' gangster arrested in Punjab

Chandigarh, Jun 2 (PTI) The Punjab Police on Tuesday arrested a 'most-wanted' gangster, Tejinder Singh alias Teja, from Mohali and seized a set of police uniform along with an SSB ID card which he allegedly planned to use for terrorist actions, officials said.

A resident of Balachaur in SBS Nagar, Tejinder was arrested by a team of the state police's Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU), they said.

Tejinder was earlier arrested for involvement in more than 25 criminal cases, including murder, attempt to murder, car-jacking, dacoity, etc., according to police.

He told officials that he was radicalised and motivated to carry out targeted killings by some hardcore terrorists who he came in contact with during his stints in various prisons, they said.

Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said a set of Punjab Police uniform and an ID card of the Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) were seized from Tejinder.

He planned to use the uniform and the card to gain access to restricted areas for commission of various kinds of crimes, including terrorist actions, the DGP said, adding that the accused clearly posed a high security risk to the state.

A Chinese 30 caliber pistol, 10 cartridges and a car were also seized from Tejinder's possession, Gupta said in an official release here.

It was found during the investigation that he had prepared other fake IDs such as Aadhaar card and driving license from Noida to evade arrest, he said.

While on the run, he stayed at different places in Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana, the DGP added.

During preliminary questioning, Tejinder also revealed that he and his close associate Rachpal Singh from Tarn Taran were planning to loot a van used to transport cash from main branches of State Bank of India to ATMs in Maur and Talwandi Sabo, the police said.

They had also conducted a recce for it, they said.

Rachpal was earlier in jail in connection with cross-border smuggling of drugs and weapons. He is wanted for his involvement in a recent murder case in Tarn Taran, according to police.

After Tejinder's release from prison in December 2019, he along with Rachpal had procured sophisticated weapons from across the border. They were also expecting a fresh consignment of automatic weapons and drugs, DGP Gupta said.

Tejinder was the mastermind of a gold robbery which took place in Ludhiana early this year. It was aimed at mobilising funds to carry out a spate of targeted killings as part of pro-Khalistan agenda to disturb peace and harmony in Punjab, the police said.

A criminal case has been registered against him and his associates at State Special Operation Cell (SSOC), Mohali under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other relevant sections of law, they said. PTI CHS VSD DIV DIV