A small clue found in the vehicle used in the crime followed by technical inputs helped the Punjab Police to unveil the trail of events that occurred before the murder of renowned Punjabi Singer Shubhdeep Singh popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala, which led to the arrest of 10 accused persons including the main conspirator Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi.
The Police have also identified four shooters involved in the crime.
Sidhu Moosewala, who left his house at around 5 pm on May 29 along with two persons- Gurwinder Singh (neighbor) and Gurpreet Singh (cousin), was shot dead by some unidentified persons. He was driving his Mahindra Thar Vehicle. Acting promptly, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led Punjab Government constituted Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of the ADGP Anti-Gangster Task Force (AGTF) to put the killers of Moosewala behind the bars.
HOW EVENTS UNFOLDED
One of the important leads was the recovery of a fuel receipt (dated May 25, 2022) of the Fatehabad based Petrol Pump from the Balero car, which was used in the crime and later found abandoned near Khayala village about 13 km from the place of crime, said the ADGP AGTF, while adding that a Police team was immediately dispatched to the petrol station of Fatehabad to gather the CCTV Footage on same day.
“The Police teams have procured CCTV footage and managed to identify one of the persons, possibly a shooter, who was later identified as Priyawarat of Sonipat. The CCTV footage was also procured from the route taken by the Bolero before and after the filling of the diesel at the Petrol Pump station,” he said. Similarly, the ownership of the Bolero was traced with the help of engine number and chassis number, he added.
Pertinently, the Police have recovered all the vehicles including Mahindra Bolero, Toyota Corolla, and White Alto car used in the crime. The assailants in Toyota Corolla had stopped and snatched a White Alto car at gunpoint, leaving behind the Corolla, which got damaged during the incident and escaped towards Khara Barnala village followed by the white Bolero Jeep. The white Alto was also found abandoned on May 30, 2022, at 3.30 am near Dharamkot in Moga district and the route taken by the accused was identified from the CCTV footage.
ROLE OF ARRESTED PERSONS
Apart from arresting Gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, who was brought on production warrant from Tihar Jail Delhi, the other nine arrested accused persons have been identified as Charanjit Singh alias Chetan of Ballram Nagar in Bathinda; Sandeep Singh alias Kekda of Sirsa, Haryana; Manpreet Singh alias Manna of Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda; Manpreet Bhau of Dhaipai, Faridkot; Saraj Mintu of village Dode Kalsia, Amritsar; Prabhdeep Sidhu alias Pabbi of Takhat-Mall, Haryana; Monu Dagar of village Rewli in Sonipat, Haryana; Pawan Bishnoi and Naseeb, both residents of Fatehabad, Haryana. All have been arrested for hatching conspiracy, providing logistic support, conducting recce and harbouring the shooters.
The ADGP said that the registration number of the Corolla car was found to be genuine and the owner was identified, however, the person on whose name an affidavit of purchase was recovered was not the actual owner but had given his Aadhaar Card to Manpreet Manna (gangster linked to Goldy Brar), who is lodged in Ferozepur Jail.
Manpreet Bhau, who was arrested from Chamoli in Uttarakhand on May 30, 2022, on suspicion of Corolla car was being used by him, revealed during interrogation that he had delivered the car to two suspected shooters identified as Manu Kusa of Moga and Jagroop Singh alias Roopa of Amritsar on the directions of Manpreet Manna.
He also revealed that the shooters were provided by Saraj Mintu, who is a close aide of Goldy Brar and Sachin Thapan and is believed to be a part of the group of shooters. Prabhdeep Sidhu alias Pabbi, who was arrested on June 3, 2022, told in his interrogation that he had provided shelter to two associates of Goldy Brar, who had come and stayed with him and he helped them to conduct recce of Sidhu Moosewala’s house.
He has also visited the house and interacted with the security and checked the cameras etc, it is revealed. Following reliable input, Monu Dagar, a close associate of Goldy Brar and Lawrence Bishnoi was brought on a production warrant. During interrogation, he confessed to having arranged two shooters identified as Priyawarat and Ankit both residents of Sonipat on the directions of Goldy Brar.
He also disclosed that Pawan Bishnoi and Naseeb both residents of Fatehabad had procured the White Bolero Jeep used in the incident from Sadul Shaher and further handed over to the shooters through a person identified as Keshav of Bathinda and had also provided them hideout.
Sandeep Kekda, who was arrested on June 6, 2022, during questioning revealed that his brother Bittu of Kalianwali along with Nikku Takhat Mal of Sirsa in Haryana had been conducting a recce of the movements of Moosewala.
He revealed that on May 29, 2022, his brother Bittu had tasked him to accompany Nikku on his motorcycle to visit the house of Moosewala posing as his fans. He confessed that they took selfie with the singer on Nikku’s mobile phone and the latter made a video call to Sachin Thapan to inform him about the real-time information about Moosewala that he had left his house without security and sitting on the driver's seat in the Black Thar Jeep.
The investigation so far has revealed that the arrested accused were acting on the directions of Lawrance Bishnoi and Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar, Sachin Thapan, Anmol Bishnoi and Vikram Brar (now in Dubai).
Further, these gangsters had bluntly claimed responsibility for the murder through Facebook profiles. Lawrance Bishnoi, Goldy Brar and others have been nominated as accused and conspirators in this case along with their gang members.
Meanwhile, the AGTF and SIT are working in close coordination with Central Agencies and other State Police Forces to identify and arrest the suspected shooters and others involved at the earliest.