Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Singer Murder Puts Focusback On ‘hideout’ Hill State | Dehradun News

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DEHRADUN: The arrest of Manpreet Singh, accused of supplying arms to the murderers of singer-politician Sidhu Moose Wala, from Dehradun has again highlighted the trend of Punjab-based criminals using the Himalayan state as a hideout. Police officers say that Uttarakhand is often used by them as a hideout as the state hosts several tourists. Singh’s case was no exception as he had slipped into the state in the guise of a Hemkund Sahib pilgrim.
Besides, Punjab-based criminals usually find some connection in the Kumaon region, which has a significant population of Punjabis. In April, a 24-year-old sharpshooter, associated with jailed Punjab gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, was nabbed from Dehradun by Punjab police with the help of Uttarakhand STF. Earlier in January, police had arrested four operatives of the Khalistan Tiger Force from Udham Singh Nagar for allegedly sheltering terrorist Sukhpreet Singh, who is accused of carrying out attacks on Army bases in Pathankot in 2021.
A senior police officer told TOI, “This isn’t a new trend. Back in the 1990s when Punjab was going through a troubled period, criminals used to hide in cities like Rudrapur, Kashipur and Haldwani — all in the Kumaon region. There is a perception that they might get some support from their brethren. In addition, Punjab-based criminals try to mislead their state police by visiting Uttarakhand as tourists or pilgrims.”
Echoing a similar option, Ajay Singh, senior superintendent of police, Uttarakhand STF, said, “We are aware of this trend and hence, we work in close coordination with our counterparts in neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal and Punjab. We share inputs with these police units regularly and help each other, whenever required, to nab absconding criminals,” said Singh.
He added, “During peak season of tourism and pilgrimage, it is practically impossible to check every vehicle entering our state. Unless we get a very specific input, it gets a little difficult to track an individual. However, close coordination and intelligence sharing help us nab the criminals hiding in the hill state.”

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