CHANDIGARH: Punjab Police on Tuesday formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the attack on relatives of cricketer Suresh Raina.
After pulling out of this year’s IPL citing personal reasons, Raina had demanded a proper investigation into the attack on his aunt’s family near Pathankot in which his uncle and cousin died.
The 58-year old Ashok Kumar, the cricketer’s uncle, who was a government contractor, died on the spot due to a head injury, while his son Kaushal (Raina’s cousin brother) succumbed to his injuries on Monday.
Three other family members were injured and Ashok Kumar’s wife Asha Rani (Raina’s paternal aunt) is reported to be in a critical condition. They were attacked by robbers (Kale Kachhewala) gang on the night intervening August 19 and 20 in Thariyal village near Pathankot where they lived. At the time of the attack, they were sleeping on the terrace of their house.
Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said that the initial investigations suggest that the attack had the signature of criminals belonging to a de-notified criminal tribe, who are often seen to operate along the Punjab-Himachal border. The SIT has been mandated to examine all possible angles. Specialized teams from Organised Crime Control Unit have also been roped in to carry out a 24X7 probe into the case.
Inter-state raids are being conducted to hunt down the suspects involved in past crimes of similar nature, and more than 35 suspects are under the scanner. Few persons from Himanchal and Uttar Pradesh have also been identified as suspicious and their mobile numbers and whereabouts are being located. Raids have also been carried out in Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, and Amritsar in coordination with local police.
Gupta said that six labourers, who were working with the deceased Ashok Kumar, have been interrogated. Tower dumps of the crime scene and nearby locations have been taken and sent for technical analysis to track suspicious movements. Also, CCTVs of the area and Army and BSF areas have been checked for any suspicious movement. Investigations so far also suggest the accused had planned to rob three other houses in the neighbourhood.
The DGP further said the SIT is headed by SPS Parmar, IGP Border Range, Amritsar, with SSP Pathankot Gulneet Singh Khurana, SP Investigation Pathankot Prabhjot Singh Virk, and DSP Dhar Kalan (Pathankot) Ravinder Singh as members. ADGP Law and Order Ishwar Singh has been tasked with the day-to-day supervision of the investigations, while SPS Parmar has been authorised to co-opt any other police officer posted in the State for an expeditious investigation into the case.
Earlier, Raina tweeted: "Till date, we don’t know what exactly had happened that night & who did this. I request @PunjabPoliceInd to look into this matter. We at least deserve to know who did this heinous act to them. Those criminals should not be spared to commit more crimes."
"What happened to my family in Punjab was beyond horrible. My uncle was slaughtered to death, my bua & both my cousins had severe injuries. Unfortunately, my cousin also passed away last night after battling for life for days. My bua is still very very critical & is on life support," he wrote in another tweet tagging Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.