New Delhi : In an extensive and planned operation, the Punjab Police have busted an inter-state gang backed by Gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi and Harwinder Rinda, with the arrest of its 11 members after recovering nine weapons and five looted vehicles from their possession, said ADGP Anti-Gangster Task Force (AGTF) Promod Ban, while addressing a Press Conference here on Thursday. The operation was carried out by the Jalandhar Rural Police.
Those arrested have been identified as Mohd. Yaseen Akhtar alias Jaisy Purewal of Nakodar, Jalandhar; Sagar Singh of Naya Shahar Badala in Mohali; Amar Malik of Samrala, Ludhiana; Navi of Lohian, Jalandhar; Ankush Sabharwal @ Paya of Nakodar, Jalandhar; Sumit Jaswal @ Kaku of Una (HP); Amandeep alias Shooter of Phillaur, Jalandhar; Shiv Kumar @ Shiva of Phillaur, Jalandhar; Vishal alias Fauji of Nakodar, Jalandhar; Arun Kumar alias Mani Rana of Una (HP) and Annu alias Pehalwan of Kapurthala. All the arrested persons are history-sheeters and have been facing cases of heinous crimes.
ADGP Promod Ban, who was accompanied by SSP Jalandhar Rural Swapan Sharma, said that this group was active in several neighboring states and had been involved in crimes including murder, attempt to murder, armed dacoity, organized extortion, dacoity, robbery, and drug smuggling. “With their arrest, Punjab Police has thwarted at least seven murders, two police custody escapes, and four armed robberies,” he added.
The ADGP said that, as per preliminary investigations, the gang was being operated by Vikram Brar, an associate of Goldy Brar on the directions of Harwinder Singh alias Rinda. Notably, Brar, a resident of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan currently residing abroad is wanted by the Police of six states. He is a classmate of Lawrence Bishnoi and is active on social media.
Giving details about arrested persons, SSP Swapan Sharma said that Mohamad Yaseen Akhtar alias Jasse has been missing since a year. A prodigy of Brar and Lawrence, Jasse has been involved in at least 16 criminal activities, he said.
He said that another arrested person identified as Ankush Sabarwal alias Paya, who has six criminal cases registered against him, was a student of Vikram Brar at an IELTS center in Nakodar in 2014 and had been providing shelter and safe house to Saurav Mahakal of Maharashtra, who was arrested by Pune Police. Along with Mahakal, he committed three crimes in Punjab, during Mahakal’s two-month stay in the state.
The SSP said that Arun Kumar alias Mani Rana is a jailed gangster and is operating on the behest of the Lawrence-Jaggu Bhagwanpuria group. The arrested gang had planned Mani Rana’s escape from Police custody during a court hearing in Una, Himachal Pradesh, he said, while adding that Sumit Jaswal alias Kaku has been arrested as he was actively involved in doing recce and organizing logistics for this escape attempt. “With the arrest of this gang, the backbone of organized criminal activities in the Doaba region in general and Jalandhar, in particular, has been broken,” he added.
Pertinently, in the past two months, Jalandhar Rural Police has arrested 32 gang members across the state-affiliated with various jailed gangsters and recovered 38 weapons from their possession.
Today, the Higher Education and Languages Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer presented a resolution opposing the Union Government’s attempt to change the character of the Panjab University, Chandigarh which was passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and now it would be sent for taking up with the Union Government. Speaking on the resolution, Higher Education Minister Meet Hayer said that Panjab University is our heritage and it is a matter of identity for us, Punjabis. State government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is firmly committed to safeguard the rights of Punjab. Alongwith Panjab University, Punjab has full rights on Punjabi speaking areas and waters.
Resolution tables by the Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer in the Vidhan Sabha:-
This House is concerned about the attempt being made by some vested interests to push the matter for change of status of Panjab University into a Central University on one pretext or the other.
The House acknowledges and recognizes that the Punjab University was re-commenced with an Act of the Punjab State namely the Panjab University Act 1947 after independence, and subsequently with the reorganization of the State of Punjab in 1966, it was declared as an Inter-State Body Corporate under Section 72(1) of the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966 enacted by the Parliament. Since its inception, the Panjab University has been continuously and uninterruptedly functioning in the State of Punjab. It was shifted from Lahore, the then capital of Punjab, to Hoshiarpur and then to Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab. More than 175 colleges of Punjab, which are situated in the districts of Fazilka, Ferozpur, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Moga, Sri Muktsar Sahib and S.B.S Nagar, are affiliated with the Panjab University at present. The entire territorial jurisdiction and the populace, which the Panjab University is catering to, falls majorly in the state of Punjab, in addition to the area under Union Territory of Chandigarh, which despite many resolutions of this august house has not been restored as the capital of Punjab state only and continues to be a Union Territory.
Historically, the people of Punjab have been very intimately associated and have identified themselves with this university right from its inception. The Panjab University occupies an emotional place in the minds of Punjabis on account of historical, regional and cultural reasons. The University has emerged as an educational and cultural symbol of Punjab’s legacy and inheritance to the extent that it has almost become synonymous with the State of Punjab,
Despite the fact that the States of Haryana and Himachal stopped contributing their share of the maintenance deficit grants to the University, the State of Punjab has increased its share from 20 percent to 40 percent and has continuously been paying it since 1976. The Government of Haryana unilaterally withdrew the affiliation of its colleges from the University and transferred the same to the other Universities within Haryana State, which has reduced the revenue of the university. The Government of India vide its notification dated 27-10-1997 ceased the representation of Haryana in various governing bodies of the University.
This House has observed that the University has been managing and conducting its financial affairs unilaterally. The State of Punjab has however increased the Grant-in-Aid from Rs. 20 crores to Rs. 45.30 crores during the financial year 2020-21, which amounts to an increase of more than 75 %. Besides, nearly Rs 100 crore is collected annually by the University from the affiliated Colleges located in Punjab. This substantial increase may not be commensurate with the needs of the Panjab University, but this is due to the reason that there is no bilateral consultative process in place.
This House strongly and unanimously feels that any decision to change the character of the Panjab University won’t be acceptable to the people of Punjab and therefore, strongly recommends that no change in the nature and character of this University should be considered by the Government of India. Any proposal in case it is being considered should be dropped with immediate effect.
Therefore, this House strongly recommends to the State Government to take up the matter with the Central Government so as not to alter the nature and character of the Panjab University in any way keeping in view the sentiments of the people of Punjab.”