Gangster Yuvraj Singh, alias Jora, who was arrested on Saturday following an encounter at a hotel in Zirakpur’s Dhakoli, was working on the directions of a handler in Europe, police probe has revealed.
Jora, 21, is a key accused in the January 8 murder of a Phagwara police constable.
The constable, Kuldeep Singh Bajwa, 28, was part of a police team that was chasing gangsters who had robbed a car at gunpoint in Phillaur’s Kangjagir village on January 8 night. During the chase, the robbers had fired at the police party and a bullet had pierced through Bajwa’s thigh, leading to his death.
Police, who are working on establishing the identity and location of Jora’s handler, said the gangster, who was a native of Pharwala village in Jalandhar, was told to stay at Hotel Alps in Dhakoli, from where he was eventually nabbed.
“Following the constable’s murder, Jora fled to Delhi NCR. There, he was directed to reach the hotel in Dhakoli, where he was supposed to stay for an evening, before proceeding further to eliminate his targets. A person not known to Jora had picked him up from Uttar Pradesh in a Maruti Suzuki Swift car, bearing a Haryana number, and dropped him at the hotel,” said a senior police official.
The same driver was to pick up Jora from the hotel and drop him at his next destination. “We have procured the CCTV footage of the car and are trying to trace its driver. The vehicle’s number plate was fake,” said another police official.
Accomplice of Teja Mehandpuria gang
Police said Jora, who was once a kabaddi player, had links with Nawanshahr-based gangster Tejinder Singh, alias Teja Mehandpuria. Teja, according to the police, is named in around 40 criminal cases, including those of murder, robbery and attempt to murder.
“Teja has been absconding after being released from a jail recently. The Phillaur carjacking is just the tip of the iceberg. The gang possesses weapons and appears to have bigger plans, as carjackings are usually not followed by firing at police. Carjackers simply abandon the car when chased,” an investigator said.
Religious, political leaders on gang’s target
Police sources said the gang was targeting religious and political leaders, and members of their rival gang. “We are hopeful of making at least five arrests soon. Jora is still undergoing treatment at GMCH, Sector 32. He will be interrogated soon,” said a police officer.
On Saturday evening, following a tip-off that Jora had checked in at a hotel in Dhakoli using the fake identity of Ramzan Malik, a team of Punjab Police’s anti-gangster task force had reached the hotel.
But when asked to surrender, Jora had opened fire at the police team, upon which his room’s door was broken open. As the accused fired two more shots, the team had overpowered him after a brief encounter in which he suffered two gunshot wounds in the legs. He was subsequently moved to GMCH-32.
Two .32-calibre pistols were recovered from the accused.
Later, the Dhakoli police booked Jora under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 307 (attempt to murder), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), along with relevant sections of the Arms Act.