A Panjab University student has been arrested by the Punjab Police’s special operation cell in Mohali for allegedly funding a killer of Dera Sacha Sauda follower Pardeep Kataria, who was gunned down by six men outside his shop at Kotkapura in Faridkot on November 10.
The accused has been identified as Harshdeep Singh Bajwa, 26, of Sangrur’s Bhagwanigarh, the police said on Saturday, adding that he has been taken into three-day remand.
Harshdeep, who is enrolled in Panjab University’s department of Gandhian studies, had deposited ₹20,000 in the account of a shooter, Manpreet Singh Manni, who was arrested along with Bhupinder Singh Goldy on November 17. They are associates of Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar.
“Harshdeep was in direct touch with Goldy Brar. He also had connections with gangster-turned-terrorist Lakhbir Singh Landa and his brother Tarsem Singh Harike. He had transferred ₹20,000 to Manni’s account three days before Kataria’s murder,” said a senior police officer, who is a part of the investigation.
Another senior cop, who is not authorised to speak with media, said Goldy Brar had sent money to his accomplices, including Harshdeep, who further transferred the amount to the shooters or other gang members. “Being a student, no one would have doubted him. Harshdeep was staying in a rented accommodation at Chandigarh’s Sector 37,” he added.
The police, it has been learnt, are now trying to nab another prominent member of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, who was also involved in the terror funding and had worked with Harshdeep.
“We are little short of arresting the Bishnoi gang member, who is a history-sheeter. Our teams have got important leads and are raiding all of his possible hideouts,” said a third officer privy to the development.
Harshdeep has been nominated in the case registered by the Mohali special operation cell on October 28 against 11 persons for illegally supplying arms and ammunition in Punjab to hinder peace.
The first information report (FIR) includes sections 153, 153-A, 212, 216, and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and Section 25 of the Arms Act.