Five teams comprising 35 men meticulously executed the highly technical and intelligence-based operation that culminated in the death of wanted gangster and Nabha jail-break mastermind Vicky Gounder, thus putting the lid on 10 cases of heinous crimes, and also bringing to an end a saga of blatant criminal threats and naked propaganda on the social media.The operation, which also led to the killing of Gounder’s associate Prema Lahoria and an unidentified man, has put another feather in the cap of the Punjab Police, which had won accolades recently for cracking the high-profile targeting killing cases in the state.
Briefing mediapersons here on Saturday, DGP Suresh Arora thanked Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for his fulsome appreciation of the police success and assured of continued efforts to crack down on other gangs and gangsters still active in Punjab. He disclosed that as many as 17 A category and 21 B category gangs were believed to be active in the state as of Jan 2017. While some gangsters had been arrested since then OCCU was now concentrating on the remaining 8 A category 9 in B category gangsters.Giving details of the operation, DGP Arora and DGP Intelligence Dinkar Gupta, who coordinated the teams along with IG OCCU Nilabh Kishore, told mediapersons that the most wanted `A’ category gangster Harjinder Singh @ Vicky Gounder was finally traced, after more than a year-long manhunt, through intelligence gathering, and from multiple sources coupled with ground operations.
Two pistols of .32 bore and one pistol of 0.30 bore, and a large quantity of ammunition along with an ammunition belt were recovered from the possession of the gangsters, along with mobile phones and dongles, used for communication through social media. A Swift Dzire car with fake number plate was recovered from the house. In fact, many fake number plates were also recovered from their place of hiding.Gounder, who had a reward of Rs 7 lakh from Punjab Police and another from Rajasthan Police, was using the social media as a tool to create terror and issue threats to rival gangs and police officers. He was using multiple Facebook accounts, operated through associates in various countries including the Gulf nations, Cyprus and Germany, disclosed Dinkar, adding that the most followed account had more than 1 lakh followers and collectively, Gounder had around 4-5 lakh FB followers. The police, he said, was augmenting its presence on the social media to counter the false propaganda which gangsters such as Gounder were spreading online, the DGP Intelligence added
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