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3 held for attack on Raina's relatives; former cricketer reaches Pathankot

By Pti

Chandigarh/Pathankot, Sept 16: The Punjab police on Wednesday claimed to have solved the case of attack on former cricketer Suresh Raina's relatives in Pathankot with the arrest of three persons.

Those arrested are members of an inter-state gang of robbers, they added. Eleven other accused are yet to be arrested, Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said here.

Raina, meanwhile, arrived in Pathankot during the day to be with the family. The attack had taken place in Pathankot's Tharyal village on the intervening night of August 19 and 20.

Raina's uncle, Ashok Kumar, a contractor, had died on the spot, while Kumar's son, Kaushal, succumbed to injuries on August 31. Kumar's wife, Asha Rani, is still in hospital in a critical condition. Two others injured in the attack have been discharged.

Talking to reporters in Pathankot, Raina thanked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for extending help and also praised the police, saying it was doing a good job.

“The family is in a difficult time and I want that the government should do something for the family,” said Raina.

Raina also went to a hospital in Pathankot to inquire about the health of Asha Rani.

Later, Raina tweeted, “This morning in Punjab, I met the investigating officers who reportedly have napped three criminals. I truly appreciate all their efforts. Our loss can't be recovered but this will surely prevent further crimes to happen. Thank you @PunjabPoliceInd @capt_amarinder for all the help.”

The cricketer early this month had described the attack as "beyond horrible" and had urged Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to look into this incident.

A four-member Special Investigation Team was formed by the Punjab police to investigate the matter. The SIT, during investigation, gathered all the circumstantial and physical evidence related to the case. More than 100 suspected persons were quizzed, said the DGP.

On September 15, the SIT received information that three suspects, who were seen near the Defence Road area on the morning after the incident, were staying near the Pathankot railway station.

A raid was conducted and all three were nabbed, the DGP said in a statement here. A gold ring, a gold chain, one more ring and Rs 1,530 cash were recovered, along with two wooden sticks, from the accused, he said.

Those arrested were identified as Sawan, alias Matching, Muhobbat and Shahrukh Khan, all residents of district Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, the police said. Initial investigation revealed that they were operating as a gang along with others and had committed several such crimes earlier in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and various parts of Punjab, moving to crime spots in groups of two to three following the natural landmarks like canals, railway lines, high voltage electricity wires etc.

Sawan along with some other gang members had conducted a recce of the area, said police.

On August 19 night, they initially found two houses -- a godown and an empty home. The third one was of Ashok Kumar, said police. Five of the accused entered the house using the ladder from the side of the roof, where they saw three people lying on the mats.

The suspects hit them on the head before moving into the house, where they attacked two others before escaping with cash and gold ornaments, said the DGP. The accused then crossed the high tension electricity wires through the open field to reach the canal, where they separated in groups of twos and threes to reach the railway station.

After distributing the cash and jewellery among themselves, they dispersed. Further investigations are in progress, said police.

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Story first published: Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 17:51 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 16, 2020