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SAS Nagar: Amidst the ongoing drive to make Punjab a crime-free state launched on the directions of Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, Punjab Police on Wednesday arrested three persons including the main shooter in connection with the Bathinda eatery owner’s murder case after a brief encounter took place at Hotel Grand Vista in Baltana.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ropar Range Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, who along with SSP SAS Nagar Dr Sandeep Garg addressing a press conference, has identified the shooter as Lovejeet Singh of Bhikhi in Mansa, while two of his accomplices have been identified as Paramjit Singh and Kamaljit Singh, both residents of Mansa. Police teams have also recovered two .30 bore pistols along with live cartridges from their possession.

As per the information, a Kulcha shop owner Harjinder Singh alias Mela was shot dead by two unidentified persons when he was sitting on a chair outside his shop on Saturday. A case FIR No 184 dated 28/10/23 had already been registered under sections 302 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 25 of the Arms Act at Police Station Kotwali Bathinda.

IGP Gurpreet Bhullar said that following reliable inputs about the accused persons linked with the Bathinda murder case hiding at a hotel in Baltana, Police teams from State Special Operations Cell (SSOC) Mohali along with District SAS Nagar Police followed the trail and managed to locate them at Hotel Grand Vista. After the Police teams cordoned off the hotel, one of the accused persons started firing at the Police party, which led to injured DSP Pawan Kumar, who was leading the Police team.

He said that the Police teams fired back in self-defence, during which, accused Lovejeet Singh also sustained a bullet injury in his right leg. Injured DSP Pawan Kumar and Accused Lovejeet have been admitted to the hospital for medical treatment, he added.

SSP Sandeep Garg said that preliminary investigations have revealed that the accused persons are members of Arsh Dalla gang, which had also claimed responsibility for Harjinder Mela’s murder. Further investigations are on, he added.

A fresh case FIR no. 321 dated 01/11/2023 has been registered under sections 307, 353, 186 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 25 of the Arms Act at Police Station Zirakpur.

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