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Two held for VHP leader's murder in Punjab

Chandigarh (Punjab): The Punjab Police on Tuesday said that they have arrested two people who were part of a terror module backed by Pakistan-based terrorists, in connection with the murder case of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Vikas Bagga.

Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav on Tuesday said that the Rupnagar police and State Special Operation Cell, in a major breakthrough, solved the murder case in less than three days.

The accused, identified as Mandeep Kumar alias Mangi and Surinder Kumar alias Rikka, were arrested on Tuesday.

Police teams have also recovered two .32-bore Pistols-- including one used in the crime-- along with 16 live cartridges and 1 empty cartridge, besides, impounding the scooty used in the crime, Gaurav Yadav added.

According to him, preliminary investigations have revealed that this terror module backed by Pakistan-based terrorist organisation was being operated, guided, motivated and funded by the foreign-based handlers operating from Portugal.

"Arrested shooters Mandeep Kumar alias Mangi and Surinder Kumar alias Rikka are the foot soldiers of these foreign-based entities, who are the operatives of Pak-based terrorist masterminds. Foot soldiers have been recruited through the lure of money," the DGP said.

He further said that both the shooters were in contact with foreign-based handlers via encrypted Apps and the latter had shared the location and photo of the target with them, besides, arranging funds and weapons to execute this killing.

"The Punjab Police will take the investigation to the logical end and all the accused persons involved in this case will be arrested. Punjab Police is fully committed to maintaining peace and harmony in the state," he said.

Sharing more details, SSP Rupnagar Gulneet Singh Khurana said that as soon as the information was received, different teams were constituted and deputed for the investigation of the case.

"A reward of Rs 1 lakh was also announced for providing information regarding the identification of assailants and photographs of accused persons grabbed from a CCTV were circulated through electronic, print and social media," he added.

He said that further investigations are on to ascertain the terror organisation that operated this module.

In this regard, an FIR was registered on April 13 under sections 302 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act at Nangal Police Station.

Bagga was the president of the Nangal unit of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and was shot dead by two unidentified scooter-borne men at his shop in Rupnagar district on April 13. 

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