Shootout at New Town complex, Punjab gangsters killed
A criminal on the run from Punjab Police was shot dead along with his accomplice in an encounter with the Special Task Force of the Bengal Police in a residential complex in New Town.
Jaipal Singh Bhullar, killed along with his accomplice Jaspreet Singh, was wanted in 15 cases of murder, attempt to murder and robberies in Punjab. Cases were also pending against him in neighbouring Rajasthan, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
On Wednesday around 4.30pm, a team from the Special Task Force received a tip-off about two criminals hiding at the Shapoorji complex.
When the team reached the complex, the two saw the police from the fourth-floor flat they were hiding in and opened fire. An inspector of the STF Kartik Ghosh was hit by one of their bullets.
The police fired 32 rounds of bullets in the firing that felled the two Punjab gangsters.
Bhullar, alias Manjit Singh, a resident of Ferozepur, and Jaspreet were killed in the retaliatory fire by the police team comprising personnel from Bengal and Punjab.
On May 15, Bhullar and his gang had opened fire at a police team killing two assistant sub-inspectors – Bhagwan Singh and Dalwinderjeet Singh—at the Jagraon grain market in Ludhiana district and were on the run since then. Along with Bhullar, the police had also named Baljinder Singh, alias Babbu of Moga, Jaspreet Singh of Kharar, and Darshan Singh of Ludhiana in the murder of the cops. Five days before the incident, Bhullar and his men had snatched arms from a police patrol team at a highway near Khanna, Punjab, which were suspected to be used in the police murders.
Punjab Police had arrested Darshan and Baljinder from Gwalior last month, while one resident of Ludhiana, Lucky Rajput, was arrested on June 1 for aiding the criminals on the run.
Son of a retired police officer, Bhullar had a reward of Rs 10 lakh for his arrest.
Once a national-level hammer thrower, Bhullar entered the world of crime with his childhood friend Amandeep Singh, alias Happy, with the kidnapping of a seven-year-old son of a Ludhiana-based cinema owner in July 2004. All the seven accused in the crime were arrested and sent to Ludhiana Jail.
It was during his stay in prisons over the next five years that Bhullar befriended gangsters from other parts of the state to form his own handpicked members who were engaged in highway robberies among other crimes.
In 2016, Bhullar murdered rival gangster Jaswinder Singh, alias Rocky, in Parwanoo, in neighbouring Himachal. A year later, he looted Rs 1.33 crore from van transporting cash for a private bank in Banur.
ADG Bengal Police STF Vineet Goyal said, Rs 7 lakh cash, five sophisticated pistols and 89 rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.
According to Punjab Police, Bhullar was among 31 top gangsters in the state involved in smuggling of narcotics from Pakistan.