Chandigarh: The sixth shooter in the Sidhu Moosewala killing, who was arrested from the India-Nepal border a day ago, had plans to flee to Dubai using a fake passport, Punjab Police chief Gaurav Yadav said Sunday.
Police also said shooter Deepak Mundi's aide Kapil Pandit had conducted reconnaissance of Salman Khan at the behest of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi to draw up a strategy to kill the Bollywood actor.
Over three months after the murder of Punjabi singer Moosewala, the sixth shooter, Mundi, and two of his associates were arrested on Saturday from an Indo-Nepal checkpoint in Kharibari Police Station area of Darjeeling district in West Bengal.
It was a joint operation of the Delhi Police and central agencies.
The Delhi Police had earlier arrested three shooters and the Punjab Police had killed two others in an encounter.
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala, was shot dead in Punjab's Mansa district on May 29.
Mundi's two associates – Kapil Pandit and Rajinder Joker – have been accused of providing logistic support and weapons to the shooters. A court in Mansa district on Sunday sent Mundi, Pandit and Joker to police remand for six days.
"The Punjab Police has made three arrests on Saturday in connection with Shubhdeep Singh murder case in a joint operation with central agencies and the Delhi Police," Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav told reporters here.
Twenty-three arrests have been made so far in the case. A total of 35 accused are named in the case, he said.
Another accused, Sachin Bishnoi had been earlier detained in Azerbaijan. There is information that another accused is being pursued, the Punjab Police chief said.
Preliminary interrogation of the three accused arrested on Saturday revealed that Rajinder Joker was stationed in Nepal earlier and he was in touch with Canada-based gangster Goldy Brar, the mastermind in the case. Brar was the mastermind of their escape plan and had promised them to settle in Dubai, Yadav said.
Sharing details of their escape plan, DGP said, "Mundi and Kapil Pandit had reached West Bengal shifting their base from Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. They planned to reach Dubai through Nepal using fake passports."
He said the alternate plan was to reach Thailand through land route via Nepal and Bhutan or if fake passports were delivered to them in Nepal, they would take a flight to Bangkok and later reach Dubai.
"Kapil Pandit's interrogation revealed that he was approached by Lawrence Bishnoi through Sampat Nehra and Goldy Brar to target Bollywood actor Salman Khan. Along with Sachin Bishnoi and Santosh Yadav, they had made elaborate recce and they spent a lot of time in Mumbai. During investigations, we will verify this angle too," he said.
To a question on the recce of Salman Khan, the DGP said, "It came to light during Kapil Pandit's interrogation."
"Whatever disclosures they made are yet to be corroborated. And if the need arises, we will send our team to Mumbai. It is a very preliminary disclosure,” said the Punjab Police chief.
Police said Pandit had jumped parole in 2021 that he got to attend the last rites of his mother and had been absconding since then.
To another question, Yadav said police had named those people against whom the Moosewala's father had a suspicion. "We are committed to ensuring justice in this case," Yadav said.
The DGP said a red-corner notice has been issued against Goldy Brar, the mastermind in the Moosewala murder case.
He further said Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann was monitoring this case every two weeks. "There was a strong political will to solve this case," Yadav asserted.
Moosewala was killed in Mansa on May 29 when he along with his friend and cousin was travelling in a jeep to Jawahar Ke village. A day earlier, the Punjab police had pruned his security cover on a temporary basis.
His vehicle was waylaid and bullets were sprayed on him by six shooters. Goldy Brar, who is a member of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, had claimed the responsibility for the murder.
Brar had executed the plan to murder Moosewala to avenge the killing of Vicky Middukhera.
Youth Akali leader Vicky Middukhera was killed last year. The name of Shaganpreet Singh, said to be Moosewala's manager, had figured in the killing of Middukhera.