Punjab Police nabs arms smuggler near Amritsar, seizes huge cache of foreign-made pistols

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The Punjab Police on Friday seized a huge cache of foreign-made pistols and arrested a smuggler, allegedly linked to Pakistan-based terror outfits and pro-Khalistani elements based in the US, Canada, and the UK. The smuggler was acting on the orders of a US-based handler, officials said.

Director-General of Police Dinkar Gupta said the weapons were meant for carrying out terror activities in various parts of India.

According to DGP Gupta, Jagjit Singh (25), a resident of Batala district was arrested from near Kathunangal in Amritsar on Thursday night by a team of the Punjab Internal Security Wing.

“The team recovered from him two nylon bags, each containing 48 foreign-made pistols of various foreign makes and bores, as well as magazines and ammunition. The cache included 19 pistols of 9mm [Zigana-Made in Turkey], 37 magazines, and 45 rounds; nine pistols of .30 bore [Made in China], and 22 magazines; 19 pistols of .30 bore [Star mark], 38 magazines, and 148 rounds; and one pistol of 9mm [Baretta-Italian], and two magazines,” said DGP Gupta.

The DGP stated preliminary investigations revealed that Jagjit was directed by former gangster Darmanjot Singh alias Darman Kahlon to collect and conceal the weapons consignment.

Darman, who is currently based in the US, has been in contact with Jagjit Singh. During his stay in Dubai, which lasted from 2017 to December 2020, Jagjit had remained in touch with Darman, who motivated him to work for him.

Darman had reportedly tasked Jagjit with collecting and concealing the weapon consignment while awaiting further instructions for the delivery of the pistols, said the DGP, adding that open-ended warrants for Darman, a Proclaimed Offender in Punjab had been obtained.

Darman Kahlon, originally from Talwandi Khumman village in Amritsar, was involved in a variety of criminal activities in Punjab before fleeing to the US in 2017 to avoid arrest. He also assisted a notorious gangster, Harwinder Singh alias Mannu, in evading police custody in 2017.

Darman was declared a Proclaimed Offender (PO) by the JMIC Batala court in January 2020 after an FIR was filed on June 12, 2017, in PS Civil Lines Batala.

During his stay in America in 2020, he also funded a criminal group in Punjab with Rs 2 lakh to purchase illegal weapons for anti-India activities. Ten members of his criminal group were apprehended by SSOC Amritsar, and 07 Pistols 32 bore were recovered from their possession. Meanwhile, the PS SSOC Amritsar filed a complaint in this case on November 10, 2020.

“In connection with last night’s seizure, an FIR has been filed at PS SSOC, Amritsar, under sections 13,17,18, 18-B, 20 Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act,120, 120-B IPC, and 25 Arms Act. Further investigation is on to unearth the whole nexus,” the DGP said.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Police has busted 44 terror modules over the last four years as part of its relentless campaign against Pak-sponsored terrorist elements seeking to disrupt peace, communal harmony, and destabilise the state.

During this time period, 283 terrorists/criminals were apprehended, as well as 21 rifles, 163 revolvers/pistols, 38 hand grenades, 10 drones, 5 satellite phones, 2 walkie-talkie sets, and an RDX.

READ | Pakistani smuggler shot dead along IB in Amritsar, heroin, arms seized

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