ASI murder: Akali leader, 3 more held

With the SAD-BJP government facing severe criticism over the killing of ASI Ravinderpal Singh, the Punjab Police on Thursday claimed that they have arrested the prime accused in the case, along with three of his accomplices.

ASI Singh was allegedly shot dead by expelled SAD general secretary Ranjit Singh Rana at Chheharta in Amritsar on Wednesday. Rana allegedly first fired shots at the ASI's legs, then brought a .315 bore rifle from his house nearby and shot him dead from point blank range.

The ASI had told him to stop stalking his daughter.

It took police chiefs of five districts — Amritsar (Rural) SSP Preetpal Singh Virk, Tarn Taran SSP Kamaljit Singh Dhillon, Gurdaspur SSP Rajjit Singh, Ferozepur SSP Varinderpal Singh and Kapurthala SSP Inderbir Singh — to launch a manhunt with 30 gazetted officers and 60 SHOs, besides sealing district borders, to nab Rana at around 5am from Rajoke and his accomplice Dharampal at 8 am near Khemkaran border. Both the places are in Tarn Taran district. The police claimed to have caught another person, Prabhjit Singh, after he, Rana and Dharampal allegedly fired at the police team. Later, the police also arrested another accused, Gurbir Singh.

Addressing the media here, DGP Sumedh Singh Saini said the police have recovered all the three weapons and vehicle used in the crime. He added that Chheharta SHO Ashwani Kumar has been dismissed. "During a probe by an SP, the SHO has been found to have committed dereliction of duty by not acting on the complaint of the girl against the accused," he said.

The family of the girl claimed that she had complained against Rana to the police at Chheharta on December 1. The Chheharta police station is located close to the site of crime, yet the police failed to reach on time on Wednesday even as Rana allegedly managed to bring another weapon and shot the ASI dead. It was personnel from Gharinda police station, where the ASI worked, that reached the spot first.

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