Punjab: Babbar Khalsa member tries to escape from police, injured in firing

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Chandigarh, Jul 8 (PTI) A suspected member of the proscribed Khalistani outfit Babbar Khalsa International was injured in police firing after he tried to escape from custody in Jalandhar, the Punjab Police's top official said on Monday.

Simranjit Singh alias Bablu is an accused in the murder of former militant Rattandeep Singh in SBS Nagar on April 3, said Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav.

He was arrested during a special check in Jalandhar's Deol Nagar Colony late on Sunday.

Hours after his arrest, a police team was escorting him to a location near Wadala along the Jalandhar-Nakodar Road where he claimed to have concealed the pistol suspected to have been used in Rattandeep Singh's murder.

"On reaching the location, the accused tried to escape after pushing away a police officer, forcing the team to open fire that resulted in gunshot injuries (to Bablu)," the DGP said and added the accused was taken to the nearest hospital.

Bablu suffered bullet injuries on both legs.

The police seized two sophisticated weapons -- a .32 Webley revolver and a .32 pistol, alongside a magazine and 19 live rounds -- from Bablu.

Yadav said preliminary investigations revealed Bablu was working on the directions of Pakistan-based terrorist Harwinder Rinda and US-based Gopi Nawanshehria, who tasked him and the other assailant -- identified as Jaspreet Singh alias Jassi Kulam -- with Rattandeep Singh's murder.

Jassi Kulam managed to flee abroad after committing the crime.

Bablu is a hardcore criminal and facing numerous cases of murder, attempt to murder, the police said.

He was also allegedly involved in the assassination of an assistant sub-inspector in Amritsar. PTI CHS SZM