Punjab Police secures extradition of gangster Budda

Chandigarh, Nov 22 (PTI) Wanted gangster Sukhpreet Singh Dhaliwal, alias Budda, is being deported from Armenia and will be arrested by the state police upon his arrival at the international airport in Delhi, Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said here on Friday.

He said in a breakthrough in the campaign against gangsters, the Punjab Police was all set to arrest Budda from the Delhi airport around Friday midnight after successfully securing his deportation from Armenia.

'Budda is scheduled to land around midnight at the Delhi international airport. He will be taken into custody by a Punjab Police team,' Gupta said in a statement.

Buddha, the self-styled chief of the Davinder Bambiha gang, was facing charges in over 15 cases of murder, attempt to murder and extortion, he said, adding that the gangster had recently come to notice for his contacts with pro-Khalistan elements.

'Budda was convicted in a murder case of 2011, but had jumped parole in 2016 and was declared a proclaimed Offender,' the DGP added.

Budda, a resident of Nihal Singh Wala in Moga, had fled the country in the wake of the crackdown against gangsters by the state government.

'The Punjab Police continued to zealously pursue him but narrowly missed nabbing him in the UAE. Eventually, he was tracked down in Armenia following which the Punjab Police got a look-out circular and red corner notice issued from the Interpol,' Gupta said.

'A precisely executed operation led to the apprehension of Budda by the Armenian Police on August 8, 2019, the officer said.

'Soon thereafter, a few pro-Khalistan activists in Europe had posted an update on Facebook about Budda's arrest calling him a strong voice for Khalistan in Punjab. In fact, Budda had earlier claimed responsibility on his Facebook account for the elimination of Maninder Pal Bittu, an activist of the Dera Sacha Sauda who was murdered inside Nabha Jail,' he said.

The DGP said that after being tracked down in Armenia, a special Punjab Police team under Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh, AIG, Counter Intelligence, Jalandhar; and Bikram Brar, DSP, Organised Crime Control Unit, was deputed for coordinating the deportation of the criminal.

The gangster was actively involved in extortion business in Punjab and had gained notoriety as one of the most feared and dreaded criminals of the state after the death of gangster Vicky Gounder, the DGP said.

'He was the main kingpin of the attack on Punjabi singer-actor Parmish Verma in April 2018,' he said, adding Budda was also allegedly behind threats to other famous Punjabi singers and actors.

'A well-known Punjabi singer Karan Aujla was also attacked in Canada on the directions of Budda,' he said.

The case in which he was arrested and jumped parole related to the murder of one Jugraj Singh Rajja in 2011. PTI SUN RDK RDK