Ludhiana: The murder of gangster Vijay Sidhu alias Chota Lalla will be probed from all angles by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) formed on Tuesday. Police commissioner Rakesh Agarwal has stated that before making any arrest, cops will reinvestigate the case to identify if Chota Lalla was killed in self-defence or not. In addition, police will also probe the matter of extortion, in which the brother of an inspector (also son of a councillor) is involved.
In this case, Salem Tabri police had earlier taken one of the accused, Vaneeta, in custody. However, after CP’s directions for re-investigation, she was released. Deputy commissioner of police (Detective) Simratpal Singh Dhindsa will head the SIT, comprising ADCP (Investigation) Harish Dayama, ACP (Detective) Mandeep Singh, and in-charge of CIA-1, sub-inspector Avtar Singh.
On Sunday midnight, gangster Lalla was stabbed to death for extortion after he reached the firecracker market set up in the grain market of Salem Tabri. It is alleged that Lalla with Sajan Atwal (who is the brother of an inspector), Mandal, Shally, and some unidentified aides reached Vishal’s shop in the market. There, they allegedly asked for protection money, which triggered an argument between them. Lalla and his accomplices then started thrashing Vishal.
Meanwhile, one of the accused tried to pick up cash from the drawer, but Vishal’s mother Vaneeta objected. During the scuffle, one of the accused slapped Vaneeta, and then the situation got out of control. Thereafter, Vishal, his brother Sagar, and other workers stabbed Lalla with cutters.
In this case, Salem Tabri police on Monday registered a case against Vishal, his brother Sagar, mother Vaneeta, and their unidentified accomplices under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC.
Police commissioner Rakesh Agarwal said, “I have formed SIT for a thorough investigation in this case, covering all angles. The investigating team will also check if Chota Lalla was stabbed in self-defence, and then it would be a different case.”
On asking about not lodging an FIR in the extortion case yet, Agarwal said, “That is also under investigation. Anyone taking the law in their hands would not be spared. Arrests will be made only after complete investigation.”
STATEMENT OF GANGSTER’S WIFE
In her statement to police, Rishu, wife of Chota Lalla, stated her husband was killed by Vishal and his accomplices over parking charges. Rishu had stated that her husband was working at the parking contract in the firecracker market, and had gone to collect his parking charges. Meanwhile, Vishal and his mother asked him not to take parking charges from their customers. This triggered an argument, and in a fit of anger, Vishal and his accomplices killed Lalla. However, it turns out that there is no parking contract in the firecracker market.
According to an autopsy report, Lalla was stabbed 22 times, including twice in stomach, head, arms, hands, and ears. According to sources, the accused had reached the spot in two cars. After the incident, they escaped in one car, leaving Lalla on the spot. Two hours after the incident, the accused returned there and took away the car.
On Tuesday evening, police chief Rakesh Agarwal transferred inspector Bittan Kumar, SHO at Dugri police station, to police lines, with regard to the Chota Lalla murder case.
Inspector Bittan’s brother Sajan Atwal is one of accused who accompanied Chota Lalla to firecracker market for extortion.