Punjab gangster Sukhmeetpal Singh aka Sukh Bhikhariwal who is also the mastermind of the murder of Shaurya Chakra Prize winner Balwinder Singh Sandhu in Bhikhiwind near Tarn Taran on October 16 was arrested at Delhi airport .
Bhikhariwal, who had been found in Dubai since December 8, was arrested on arrival at the airport by police from the national capital’s special cell on Thursday morning, Punjab police officials said. They have been in constant contact with the Delhi police.
Bhikhariwal’s name emerged during questioning of the five men arrested by Delhi police on December 7 after a meeting. Two of the five – Sukhdeep Singh alias Sukha and Gurjeet Singh alias Bha – were from Gurdaspur district. While the other three were from Kashmir and linked to a Pakistan-based terrorist group. Bhikhariwal was arrested by Delhi Police with assistance from Dubai Police on December 7 and the deportation process had been ongoing since then.
MURDER GROUNDS STILL TO BE VERIFIED
Punjabi police said Sukha and Gurjeet arrived on a motorbike at Sandhu’s home on October 16 and shot him at close range.
Eleven people, including two jailed gangsters, were arrested for the murder in November.
Sandhu’s murder was orchestrated by the two imprisoned gangsters, Ravinder Singh Gian and Sukhdeep Singh, from Patiala and Ferozepur prisons at the behest of Bhikhariwal.
Police, however, did not disclose the motive for Sandhu’s murder, saying, “Only Bhikhariwal knows the reason.”
Police in Tarn Taran worked on various theories, while members of Sandhu’s family called the murder an act of terror. Sandhu and his wife Jagdish Kaur had received bravery awards for fighting terrorism at its height in Punjab.
Police in Tarn Taran have said they will bring Bhikhariwal under a production warrant once the Delhi police investigation is completed.
On Tuesday, a local court dismissed the Tarn Taran police plea seeking a production warrant from Sukha and Bha, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
SEARCHED IN 10 CRIMINAL CASES IN PUNJAB
Tarn Taran SSP Dhruman H Nimbale had said efforts were underway to bring the duo under production warrant, as their interrogation in custody is vital in the Sandhu murder case.
Bhikariwal is wanted by the Punjab police in around 10 criminal cases, including murder, attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping, misdemeanor, drug trafficking and illegal activities (prevention) law .
Bhikariwal, who is accused in the Nabha jailbreak case, is also wanted in connection with the attack on a Shiv Sena leader in Gurdaspur last year.