Chandigarh (IANS): In a major police crackdown on Wednesday, two sharpshooters — Jagroop Rupa and Manpreet Manu — allegedly involved in the killing of famed Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala were shot dead by Punjab Police on the outskirts of Amritsar close to the India-Pakistan border.
They were holed up inside a farmhouse and were eliminated in a five-hour exchange of fire. An AK-47 rifle and a pistol were recovered from the encounter site.
Moose Wala was gunned down on May 29 close to his native village near Mansa in Punjab.
The operation was carried out by the Anti-Gangster Task Force at Bhakna village close to the Attari border, where Manpreet Singh, a.k.a. Manu, and Jagroop Singh, a.k.a. Rupa, were holed up.
Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav was present at the encounter spot.
Anti-Gangster Task Force chief Pramod Ban confirmed the killing of Manpreet, a henchman of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, along with Rupa. They, among others, had fired at Moose Wala on May 29 which led to the singer’s death on the scene.
Three policemen and a journalist were also injured. Ban said a policeman suffered an injury in his chest, another near his eye and the third in the thigh. A photographer also suffered a bullet injury in his leg.
Last month, Ban told the media that jailed gangster Bishnoi, the main conspirator, had confessed that the plan to kill Moose Wala was hatched in August last year to avenge the murder of Youth Akali Dal leader Vicky Middukhera.
Ban had said 13 people have been arrested in the case so far after the first arrest was made on May 30, just a day after the murder of Moosewala.
A Canada-based gangster, who is a member of the Bishnoi gang, had claimed responsibility for Moose Wala’s murder.
Ban had said that the shooters had reached Mansa on May 25, the scene of the crime close to Moosa village. “Some of the weapons were provided to them on reaching Punjab. AK series assault rifles were used to gun down Moose Wala,” he had said.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann congratulated the state police force and the Anti-Gangster Task Force for successfully executing the operation.
In a statement, Mann said the government has launched a decisive war against gangsters and anti-social elements in the state.
He said as per the commitment of the state government, the police have achieved a major success in the anti-gangster operation near Amritsar.
Mann congratulated all the police officers who made this operation a success, adding that the police have upheld their professional commitment to safeguard the lives of the people.
The Chief Minister also said that the government is according top priority to wiping out the scourge of gangsters and drugs from the state.