Chandigarh: The Punjab Police Wednesday claimed to have solved the attack and murder case involving cricketer Suresh Raina’s relatives with the arrest of three members of an inter-state gang of robber-criminals in Pathankot.
Eleven other accused are yet to be arrested, a police spokesperson said in a statement.
The incident took place in a Pathankot village on 19 August, when the robbers entered the house of Raina’s uncle and attacked the residents. The criminals escaped with cash and ornaments.
The cricketer’s uncle Ashok Kumar, a Border Security Force (BSF) contractor, died on the spot. Kumar’s son Kaushal Kumar succumbed to injuries on 31 August while his wife Asha Rani, who is Raina’s maternal aunt, is still in hospital in a critical condition. Two others injured in the attack have been discharged from hospital.
After Raina raised the issue, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh ordered the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under Inspector General of Police (IGP) Border Range Amritsar, with three senior officers as its members, to investigate the case expeditiously.
During the investigation, the SIT gathered circumstantial and physical evidence. More than 100 suspects were part of the probe, said the statement.
On Tuesday, the SIT received information that three suspects were staying in slums near the Pathankot Railway Station. All three were picked up in a raid. A gold ring bearing the letters AK, one lady’s ring, one gold chain and Rs 1,530 were recovered from the accused.
The accused have been identified as Sawan alias Machhing, Muhobbat and Shahrukh Khan. While Sawan is a native of Uttar Pradesh, the other two are residents of Chirawa and Pilani slums in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu.
The investigation revealed that the three were operating as a gang along with others and had committed several such crimes in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of Punjab.
What the accused said about the incident
According to the police statement, Sawan told the SIT that on 12 August, they had moved as a group from Chirawa and Pilani in an auto owned by one Nausau, along with one Rashid and other people.
“They reached Jagraon, Ludhiana, where they were joined by three others — Reenda, Golu and Sajan. They purchased saws, pliers and screw drivers and left for Pathankot after committing a robbery in Jagraon on the night of 14th August,” Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gulneet Khurana said in the statement.
In Pathankot, one Sanju alias Chajju, who knew the area well, also joined them and the gang conducted a recce of the area, added Khurana.
On the night of 19 August, they moved in small groups, according to their modus operandi, and reached a designated spot in the open field. During recce they had already identified a shop where bamboo ladders were tied up using chains.
“The first two houses where they put the ladders turned out to be a godown and an empty home, while the third was of Ashok Kumar.
“Five of the accused entered the house using the ladder from the side of the roof, where they saw three people lying on the mats. The suspects hit them on the head before moving into the house, where they attacked two others before escaping with cash and gold ornaments,” said the SSP.
The accused then crossed high-tension electricity wires through the open field to reach a canal and separated in groups to reach the railway station, where they dispersed after distributing the cash and jewellery among themselves.
Further investigations are on to arrest the 11 absconders, including one identified person, and solve other robberies in which the gang members were involved, added Khurana.