CHANDIGARH, January 27: Five teams comprising 35 men meticulously executed the highly technical and intelligence-based operation that culminated in the death of wanted gangster and Nabha jail-break mastermind Vicky Gounder, thus putting the lid on 10 cases of heinous crimes, and also bringing to an end a saga of blatant criminal threats and naked propaganda on the social media.
The operation, which also led to the killing of Gounder’s associate Prema Lahoria and an unidentified man, had won accolades recently for cracking the high-profile targeting killing cases in the state.
Briefing mediapersons here on Saturday, DGP Suresh Arora thanked Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for his fulsome appreciation of the police success and assured of continued efforts to crack down on other gangs and gangsters still active in Punjab. He disclosed that as many as 17 A category and 21 B category gangs were believed to be active in the state as of Jan 2017. While some gangsters had been arrested since then OCCU was now concentrating on the remaining 8 A category 9 in B category gangsters.
Giving details of the operation, DGP Arora and DGP Intelligence Dinkar Gupta, who coordinated the teams along with IG OCCU Nilabh Kishore, told mediapersons that the most wanted `A’ category gangster Harjinder Singh @ Vicky Gounder was finally traced, after more than a year-long manhunt, through intelligence gathering, and from multiple sources coupled with ground operations.
Two pistols of .32 bore and one pistol of 0.30 bore, and a large quantity of ammunition along with an ammunition belt were recovered from the possession of the gangsters, along with mobile phones and dongles, used for communication through social media. A Swift Dzire car with fake number plate was recovered from the house. In fact, many fake number plates were also recovered from their place of hiding.
Gounder, who had a reward of Rs 7 lakh from Punjab Police and another from Rajasthan Police, was using the social media as a tool to create terror and issue threats to rival gangs and police officers. He was using multiple Facebook accounts, operated through associates in various countries including the Gulf nations, Cyprus and Germany, disclosed Dinkar, adding that the most followed account had more than 1 lakh followers and collectively, Gounder had around 4-5 lakh FB followers. The police, he said, was augmenting its presence on the social media to counter the false propaganda which gangsters such as Gounder were spreading online, the DGP Intelligence added.
A proclaimed offender, wanted in 10 cases of murder, gang-war, jail break, extortion, drug smuggling, weapon smuggling etc, Gounder was under examination for his possible links with militant/radical elements, as well as ISI. Recently, he got delivery of an automatic assault rifle from Pakistan through his close associate and handler, Ramanjit Singh @ Romi (Hong Kong), who is also wanted by Punjab Police and against whom Red Corner Notice has been issued. The possible role of Romi is also being examined in targeted killings in Ludhiana and Jalandhar in 2016/2017.
Gounder came into limelight when he killed Sukha Kalwan on January 21, 2015 in police custody, after which he danced, made a video and boastfully told the policemen in the escort party that "I am Vicky Gounder and I have killed Sukha Kahlwan”. He posted this video on social media, after which he was arrested by Tarn Taran Police in December 2015, and sent to the high-security Nabha Jail, from where he escaped in November 2016. Gounder was the last of the criminals still absconding after the jail-break.
Just, two pistols of .32 bore and one pistol of 0.30 bore, and a large quantity of ammunition along with an ammunition belt were recovered from the possession of the gangsters.
Prem Singh @ Prema Lahoria, another 'A' Category gangster having a reward of Rs. 2 Lac, a proclaimed offender wanted in 10 cases of murder, gang-war, jail break, extortion, drug smuggling, weapon smuggling etc. was also killed during the encounter, claimed DGP.
Sharing operational details of the encounter, the DGP said the Organized Crime Control Unit (OCCU) of Intelligence Wing, under the guidance of Dinkar Gupta, was collecting information regarding the movement of these two gangsters from field formations. Last week, OCCU got information that these two gangsters were spotted in the border districts of Fazilka, Ferozepur and Taran Tarn. On January 24, an OCCU advisory was issued listing out five districts reporting possible movement of the gangsters and additional forces were sent out there.
On further getting specific information that their movement was seen in the area of Police Station Sarwar Khuhian, district Fazilka, a team of OCCU, under command of AIG Gurmeet Singh Chauhan and Inspector Bikram Brar, was dispatched there. The team started doing reccee of the area, and checking their suspected hideouts and associates.
On 26th January 2018, the police received information that both the offenders were hiding in Village Panjawa, and also discovered that Lakhwinder Singh @ Lakha s/o Iqbal Singh, a close associate of Vicky Gounder, was also residing in the same village. Upon further reccee, the team found that both the accused were hiding in the 'Dhanni' of Lakhwinder Singh @ Lakha.
Vicky Gounder, Prem Lahoriya shot dead by police.
But many questions hover, and many more need to be asked.
CM, Opposition rush to congratulate police,
but Punjab needs to engage more deeply.
culture of celebrating gangsterism, we are losing the plot.
Punjab Today - Countering the populist media narrative.
Five teams were constituted to raid the `Dhanni’ and nab the gangsters. The operation started at 5.30 p.m. on Friday. While one team covered the house from the roof-top of the neighbouring house, another covered the rear boundary wall, and the third entered from the main gate, with the remaining teams covering the two other doors.
On seeing the police party, three persons came out from a room and started firing on the cops. One of them took shelter behind a mini bus, while two others ran towards the rear boundary wall, with the former giving them covering fire. In spite of repeated appeals to surrender, they also continuously fired at the police party, injuring SI Balwinder Singh and ASI Kirpal Singh. In retaliatory firing, Gounder and Lahoria were shot dead. The third person, whose identity is yet to be established, was shifted to Civil Hospital, Abohar, with injuries, to which he succumbed. The injured police personnel were also shifted to Civil Hospital, Abohar, from where they were referred to Faridkot Medical College. A total of 40 shots were fired from by the police party in exchange of about a dozen fired by the gangsters, said IG OCCU.
On checking, it was found that the 'Dhanni' where the gangsters had been hiding for the past two days was technically inside the jurisdiction of village Pakki, PS Hindumal Kot, district Ganganagar, Rajasthan, which is hardly 50 meters from Punjab’s border. The information was immediately shared with SP/Ganganagar and SHO, PS Hindumal Kot, who reached the spot. On the statement of Inspector Bikram Brar, case FIR No. 26 dated 27-01-2018, u/s 307, 332, 34 IPC, 25-27-54-59 Arms Act, PS Hindumal Kot, District Ganganagar (Rajasthan) was registered and investigation was taken up by Ganganagar Police. In fact, the Punjab Police had been having operational meeting with the Rajasthan police following intelligence reports of movement of gangsters in the bordering areas.
Responding to questions, DGP Arora justified the need for a stringent law like PCOCA to effectively deal with criminals, who needed to be given a strong message that they could not get away with their criminal activities. The DGP appealed to the youth not to be lured by crime, which never pays. Criminals have a limited life while the State is ageless, he added.
HARJINDER SINGH @ VICKY GOUNDER
Harjinder Singh @ Vicky Gounder S/o Mehal Singh R/o Vill. Saravan Bodla P.S Kabrala distt. Sri Muktsar Sahib, started his criminal activities while studying in Sports School where he became fast friend of Prema Lahoria, Jaipal, and Lovely Baba (killed by Sukha Kalwan). From being a petty criminal he became a hardcore Gangster. He came into limelight when he killed Sukha Kalwan on 21.01.2015 in police custody, where after killing he danced, made a video and boastfully told the policemen of Escort party that "He is Vicky Gounder and I have killed Sukha Kahlwan”. He posted this video on social media. After this he was arrested by Tarn Taran Police on 20.12.2015 and was sent to Maximum High Security Nabha Jail.
While staying in Nabha jail he came close to terrorist Harminder Singh @ Mintoo (KLF Chief) and others. He executed a plan with Gurpeet Singh Sekhon, Harminder @ Mintoo & others of escaping from Nabha Jail and later escaped on 27.11.2016. After escaping Vicky Gounder, with his associates killed his rivals in Gurdaspur on 20.04.2017.
According tp press release, he came in contact with Pakistan based terrorists and started smuggling of drugs and illegal weapons through his close associate Ramanjit Singh @ Rommi of HongKong and started smuggling of drugs and illegal weapons. He also influenced student elections held in various colleges of Punjab and started Shera Khuban Student Union and threatened anyone who opposed candidate of Shera Khuban Student Union.
Vicky Gounder used social media extensively. He had lot of followers on Facebook. He had created many Facebook profiles which were operated/updated by his associates from various countries outside India. After committing crime he used to openly boast on Social media regarding the same. He used to openly threaten innocent people for extortion. He also threatened his rivals and police personnel through Social Media. There were 10 cases of Murder, Attempt to murder, car snatching/Jacking registered against Vicky Gounder all over Punjab.
PREM SINGH @ PREMA LAHORIA
Prem Singh @ Prema Lahoria s/o Late Darshan Singh r/o Vill. Sidana P.S Gharinda, Distt. Amritsar, house no. 728 Baba Budhaji Nagar, Mithu Basti, P.S Basti Bawa Khel, Jalandhar, was close associate of Harjinder Singh @ Vicky Gounder. When his rival Sukha Khalwan killed Lovely Baba (close friend of Prema Lahoria) he along with Vicky Gounder took revenge by killing Sukha Kahlwan in police custody, thus created a hype for himself.
He was the main facilitator/planner who helped Harjinder Singh @ Vicky Gounder, Gurpeet Singh @ Sekhon and terrorist Harminder @ Mintoo (KLF Chief) escape from Nabha Jail. Before planning and executing the Nabha Jail break case he masterminded the escape of Palwinder @ Pinda (hardcore criminal) on 29.03.2016 from the police custody. He was the one who arranged police uniforms which were used in Nabha Jail break case by the facilitators.
After the Nabha Jail break case he started smuggling of drugs and illegal weapons with Vicky Gounder. There were 10 cases of murder, attempt to murder, trespassing registered against him throughout Punjab. He was also in contact with Pak based terrorists and smugglers through Ramanjit @ Rommi based in HongKong.
Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.
Most shared Punjab Today articles:
AMARINDER, BADALS, KHAIRA, AROOSA ALAM & A JOURNALIST OF TRIBUNE
BUT AAP WON'T GET IT. TUM TO THEHRE SHEHARI
NAPOLEON PAINTING ROW: Punjab Govt insists on riding its high horse
PLAYING WITH SIKH SENTIMENTS: Punjab Govt’s ad depicts Tenth Sikh Master astride Napoleon’s horse
HOW DHUMAL WAS ASSASSINATED POLITICALLY, BY THE BJP
SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary – Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?
SHIROMANI AKALI DAL – Abhi to party shuru huyee hai...
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN PUNJAB: How Congress, SAD, AAP have framed issues
DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT
VIDEO - CLASS 5 STUDENT THREATENS REVOLUTION
CHAI PAR SUICIDE? Meet Mankar. Sorry, he’s dead. Modi met him, though - for Chai Pe Charcha
1984 - A RIOT OR A GENOCIDE? Controversy explodes in Canada again as Hardeep Puri tweets
PUNJAB VIDHAN SABHA: They are publishing a new book, so please go read an old one
JAANE KYA DIKH JAAYE! Rajasthan, where they write poems hailing Shambu Lal Regar
'IF NOT VANDE MATARAM, then will you salute Afzal Guru?'
LAHORE NU SALAAM – LAHORE CHODD AAYA - Prof. Randhir Singh
THE LOOT THAT RAJASTHAN COMMITTED – An insult bigger than Bollywood’s Padmawati!
TRIBUNE’S HARISH KHARE SHATTERS EDITORIAL SILENCE OVER CARAVAN REPORTAGE
THE DANGER OF RENAMING A COLLEGE
ARNAB GOSWAMI WATCHES PADMAWATI, KARNI SENA IS HAPPIEST
DESH CHORR DO – VANDE MATARAM MAN TELLS SIKH LEADER TO LEAVE COUNTRY
DYAL SINGH COLLEGE TO VANDE MATARAM MAHAVIDYALAYA - A DESIGN NEFARIOUS?
HONESTY CERTIFICATE TO MAJITHIA TRIGGERS CRISIS IN TRIBUNE
THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE
WAS IT MEANT FOR TRUMP? OR US? – Bush, Obama said this on Diwali
WALKING IN STEP, HAND ON THE SHOULDER Aye Bhayee, Bina Dekhe Chalo.
CHALO, PATAAKE CHALAYEN – CM Amarinder Singh & Parkash Singh Badal Jee
NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty
ELECTION COMMISSION - YOU FAILED TO CONVINCE. TRY AGAIN.
THIS IS WHY ELECTION COMMISSION DID NOT ANNOUNCE GUJARAT POLL DATES – Decoding the mystery
BJP TO EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT AGRI & RELIGION LINK – Will tell them Modi did so much
AYE BHAI, BINA DEKHE CHALO – Walking with the blind in Chandigarh
BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah
MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame
OPEN SALE AT GNDU – Have Rs 25,000? Get your compartment cleared. Rs 50,000 for two subjects
SUCHA SINGH LANGAH : KAMAAL JAARI HAI... Sucha Singh Langah wins, even in his darkest moments
ABEY TU BAHAR NIKAL, CHOWK MEIN AA – The 10-yard-radius protest
PATIALA, VIA PANCHKULA. HAIL DEMOCRACY! Halaat kharaab nahi hone chahiye!
PEHLU KHAN CASE – Will Govt Now Compensate The Magnificent Six? The Nation Needs to Know
MR HOME MINISTER, WILL YOU BE VISITING FAROOQ AHMAD DAR'S HOUSE?
THE RYAN DEBATE: HOW INDIA MISSED THE GREAT CCTV ANGLE? Not covered by cctv, so not covered by tv either
POLITICAL ECONOMY OF RETIREMENT AGE ROW – What’s wrong with retirement age policy?
THE GORAKHPUR DEAD SPEAK TO PUNJAB – From Patiala to Gorakhpur, the tale of the dead
WE WILL KILL 40-50 – Haryana BJP, Govt calculated death toll before firing first bullet
RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS – Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience
LET'S KILL PAASH – Dr Sumail Singh Sidhu on the importance of Paash
A DOKLAM IN EVERY FIELD: Farmers not only produce food. They produce peace.
SURGICAL STRIKE YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT: When Indian jawans killed everyone at Pak post
PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity
Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.