Gang of highway robbers busted, large cache of arms recovered (Lead)

June 6th, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Panchkula (Haryana), June 6 (IANS) The Haryana police Saturday claimed to have busted
a gang of highway robbers and recovered 85 weapons, large amounts of ammunition and two luxurious cars from them.

“This is big breakthrough for Haryana police as we were working for a long time to nab this gang. This is the same gang that was involved in the recent carjacking incidents on the highway,” state Director General of Police Ranjiv Dalal told reporters here.

“Police have also recovered 75 revolvers and pistols, 10 shot guns, one carbine and a large amount of ammunition along with forged documents, a laptop, drilling machines and Rs.150,000 cash from the accused,” he said.

Most of the weapons and ammunition seized were stolen from a gun house in Hoshiarpur town in Punjab, around 100 km from here, in April this year.

Dalal said a Honda Accord and a Civic cars have also been recovered.

Police arrested the kingpin of the gang Rajiv alias Raja and his accomplices - Rekha Rani and Ramadeep Friday night from the National Highway 1 near Issargarh in Kurukshetra district, around 100 km from here, after a brief exchange of fire.

Dalal said the gang committed a series of robberies and dacoities in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh.

“Rajiv, who was once a cameraperson with some cable TV channel, was one of the most wanted criminals in Punjab. Rajiv admitted that he has committed over 20 heinous crimes, including four murders. He escaped from police custody in January this year from Barnala town in Punjab.”

Dalal said the gang was specifically targeting luxurious vehicles plying on the highway. Further interrogation is expected to reveal the names of their other associates and the details of other crimes committed by this gang.

On May 27, the gang had waylaid a Chandigarh-based businessman and drove him to his home in Chandigarh. They decamped with his car as well as all the jewellery and cash.

The gang held the businessman and his family hostage for over two hours.

The gang also waylaid Bharatiya Janata Party’s Panchkula district chief Shamlal Sachdev’s son Sanjiv Karnal at midnight in April.

He was also taken to his home in Panchkula but the abductors fled when Sachdev’s tenant raised an alarm. The robbers, however, decamped with the Mercedes car, a laptop and Rs.20,000.

“They all are clever criminals, multi-lingual and very handy with latest gadgets and technology. Our duty does not end here as we cannot sit peacefully until an exemplary punishment is rewarded to them,” said Dalal.

“We would request the fast track courts for a continuous trial. They have become a big threat for the society, as once they are out they will plan similar crimes,” said Dalal.

About the recovery of weapons, the police chief said: “The weapons recovered from them were stolen by this gang from a gun house at Hoshiarpur town in Punjab. That robbery in April this year, just before the elections, was a cause of grave concern for the security agencies all over the country.”

The gang was arrested by a special investigation team constituted by the inspector general of police, Ambala range, particularly to trap this gang.

Inspector General of Police K.K. Sindhu told reporters: “For the last one-and-a-half months this gang was mainly active in Punjab and every alternate day they were committing some crime.

“They possessed fake identity cards, forged bank accounts in all the leading banks and always moved in luxurious cars. Seeing their status it was really difficult for anyone to doubt them and people easily fell in their trap.”

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