In what could be one of the most successful catches of recent times, Punjab Police has arrested "most-wanted gangster" Baljinder Singh, alias Billa Mandiala. The police authorities have also managed to nab another "notorious gangster", Sukhjinder, along with five other members of the 'Billa gang'. During the arrest, police recovered a large consignment of sophisticated weapons which it suspects to have been smuggled from Pakistan. Moreover, drones and large amounts of cash have also been recovered.
Links with Pakistan
Manidala has links with Pakistan-based Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) Chief Harmeet Singh Happy now deceased including Germany-based 'Bagga' of Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF). The DGP of Punjab Police said that the gangsters were arrested in a joint operation by a team of Organised Crime Control Unit (OOCU) from Chandigarh, Counter-Intelligence Jalandhar unit and Kapurthala police.
As per a report in the Tribune, the arrested were identified as Baljinder Singh, alias Billa Mandiala (resident of Mandiala, Gurdaspur); Sukhjinder Singh (Kamoke Beas, Amritsar); Mohit Sharma (Kapurthala); Lovepreet Singh; Mangal Singh; and Maninderjeet Singh, alias Happy; and (another) Lovepreet Singh, alias Lovely (Amarkot, Valtoha, Tarn Taran).
Highly sophisticated weapons recovered
Police had slapped more than 18 criminal cases, including those of murder, attempt to murder, and smuggling of weapons/drugs against Baljinder. Further, the police also recovered a huge cache of highly sophisticated weapons. Two .30-bore drum machine guns, three pistols (SIG Sauer, made in Germany), two Glock pistols (made in Austria), two .30-bore pistols, one .32-bore pistol, one .315 bore rifle, 341 cartridges, two drum magazines, 14 pistol magazines were seized during the raid. Moreover, the police also recovered more than Rs 3 lakh Indian currency and 100 Australian dollars.
The seizure of such a large cache of sophisticated weapons has also raised serious questions on how such weapons were smuggled to India. For instance, Sig Sauer pistols that was also recovered are being used by the members of secret services of the United States. The police have lodged cases under sections 384, 465, 467, 468, 471, 473, and 489 of the IPC, 13 and 18 of the UAPA, and Section 25 of the Arms Ac.