Gangster Deepak Tinu, accused in Moosewala murder case, escapes from custody; cop sacked

Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala, was shot dead in Punjab's Mansa district on May 29.

Chandigarh: Gangster Deepak Tinu, one of the accused in singer Sidhu Moosewala’s murder, escaped from police custody in Mansa district, in a major embarrassment for Punjab Police which sacked the officer incharge and arrested him.

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Tinu, hailing from Haryana’s Bhiwani, fled from the custody of the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) unit of the Mansa Police on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday when he was brought on a production warrant from Goindwal Sahib jail in Tarn Taran district in another case.

The Incharge CIA has been dismissed from service under Article 311 of the Constitution, Punjab police said.

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The Punjab police was also coordinating with the Special Task Force of Haryana and the Special Cell of Delhi Police to nab the gangster, it said, adding checking of vehicles has been intensified at all inter-state borders.

An FIR under IPC sections 222 (Intentional omission to apprehend on the part of public servant bound to apprehend person under sentence or lawfully committed), 224 (Resistance or obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension) 225 A (Omission to apprehend, or sufferance of escape, on part of public servant…) and 120-B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) has been registered against errant police officials, they said. Punjab Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav said the CIA incharge has been arrested and asserted that no laxity will be tolerated.

He said police teams have fanned out to nab Tinu.

Mansa Senior Superintendent of Police Gaurav Toora said Tinu was brought on a production warrant in a separate murder case and was kept at the Mansa CIA police station.

According to preliminary investigation, CIA incharge Pritpal Singh took Tinu away in his car from the CIA lock up and thereafter, Tinu escaped.

The SSP said no permission was taken by the CIA incharge for taking the gangster along with him while adding that the matter will be investigated from all angles.

Strict action will be taken against whosoever helped Tinu to escape, said the SSP told reporters in Mansa.

Teams of the anti-gangster task force and other wings of the Punjab police have been conducting raids to nab the gangster, said the SSP, adding that he will be arrested soon.

After the incident, Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav rushed Assistant Inspector General of Police of the AGTF Gurmeet Chauhan to Mansa.

Chauhan dubbed this incident as unfortunate and said that connivance of the CIA incharge has come to the fore in the matter and strict action has been taken against him.

Earlier in 2017, Tinu, who faces several cases including murder and extortion in various states, had escaped with the help of another gangster and his aide from Haryana after throwing pepper spray in the eyes of a police official. Later in December that year, he was arrested by the Bhiwani police from Bengaluru.

Opposition parties – Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP – hit out at the AAP government and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who was touring poll-bound Gujarat on Sunday.

“Gangster Deepak Tinu, a key suspect who was hauled in for interrogation in the case of Sidhu Moosewala, managed to escape from Mansa Police’s custody in a cinematic manner while the CM of Punjab is busy performing ‘Garba’ in Gujarat,” Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa tweeted.

Charan Kaur, the mother of Sidhu Moosewala, questioned how the accused escaped from police custody and also alleged that the arrested gangsters were getting facilities in jails.

Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said strict action will be taken against those who broke the law.

Tinu is a close aide of gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, also an accused in the murder case of the Punjabi singer.

Sources said police of neighbouring states including Rajasthan and Haryana have been alerted.

Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala, was shot dead in Punjab’s Mansa district on May 29.

He was killed when he was on his way to Jawahar Ke village in Mansa in a jeep with his friend and cousin. His vehicle was waylaid and bullets were sprayed on him by six shooters.

After the killing, Goldy Brar, a member of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, claimed responsibility for the murder.

Tinu is among 24 accused who have been charge-sheeted in the murder case.

He is a close aide of gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi and Jaggu Bhagwanpuria and had remained lodged with them in different jails.

Tinu was allegedly involved in the planning of Moosewala’s murder.

Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa also slammed the police for its “negligence”.

“This is the height of Punjab Police and Administration’s carelessness and negligence. Such errors and security breaches are inexcusable. If they are incapable of handling hardcore detained criminals then God save the common man, said Bajwa.

Bajwa also slammed Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, accusing him of describing the gangster’s escape as a “small incident”.

“While a key Minister of AAP stated that such small incidents tend to happen during routine procedures, his statement gave me a pause and I regret to say that such insensitive and irresponsible leaders are holding key portfolios in cabinet,” he said in another tweet.

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