Punjab gangster gunned down in HP. Rivals fight for credit on Facebook
- Punjab gangster Rocky gunned down in HP
- His jailed rivals are fighting for credit on Facebook
- Rocky was allegedly close to SAD leader Shiv Lal Doda, but the two fell out
- The bone-chilling Facebook posts of Rocky\'s rivals
- The war for credit
- Are criminals ruling from behind bars?
Jaswinder Singh Bhullar alias Rocky, a 39-year-old gangster from Fazilka in Punjab, was recently gunned down in Himachal Pradesh. His rivals are openly claiming responsibility for his killing - on Facebook!
The posts are being put up on the Facebook timelines of people who are either absconding or lodged in jails in Punjab. It is being interpreted as a direct challenge to the law, conveying the message that gangsters are free to do anything even while behind the bars.
Rocky, who had unsuccessfully contested the last assembly polls as an independent, was shot dead by two persons a few kilometers ahead of Parwanoo, the gateway to Himachal Pradesh. He was hit on the head while he was on way by car to Chandigarh after spending a day in Himachal Pradesh. His driver Parampal managed to drive the vehicle to the ESI Hospital in Parwanoo despite being injured himself. He was later referred to PGI, Chandigarh.
The killers were trailing Rocky. His guards, Malkit Singh and Ranjeet Singh, who were in another vehicle, did not fire at the assailants. Rocky's cousin Harpreet Singh, who was in the rear seat, escaped unhurt.
The assailants' vehicle reportedly bore a fake number plate as it was found to be of a two wheeler registered in Amritsar. The police also recovered a motorcycle with a Haryana number plate.
Rocky was an alleged associate of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and liquor baron Shiv Lal Doda, whose name has figured in the murder of a Dalit youth Bhim Tank in Abohar. Rocky had reportedly supported SAD-BJP candidate Sher Singh Ghubaya from Ferozepur in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Rocky reportedly parted ways with Doda last year over some dispute and even extended support to the stir launched against Doda and his henchmen following the killing of Tank at Doda's Ramsara village-based farmhouse on 11 December. Observers say that his killing has once again exposed the gangster-politician nexus.
According to reports Rocky had a significant support base in the Rai Sikh-dominated border villages. He was facing about 30 cases of murder, extortion, kidnapping, conspiracy, illegal confinement and possession of illegal weapons in several parts of the country. His father Mohinder Singh Jhugianwala was allegedly shot dead by Rocky's younger brother Roman about six years ago.
Fight for credit
When it comes to shooting him the competition is between two groups known as Shera Khubban group and Sunny Chandbhan's group. The activists of both groups have taken to the social media posting claims over Rocky's murder.
A gangster from Ferozepur district Jai Pal Singh, who is allegedly absconding, reportedly uploaded a collage of Rocky's pictures with a post saying, "Jaswinder Singh @ Rocky of Fazilka was murdered yesterday in Himachal Pradesh. I killed him. Those who are saying Dimpy Chandbhan's son has killed Rocky, I clarify that he could not even give a statement in the case of his father's killing, how can he kill him..." the post reportedly ends with the line At the end of his post are the words, "The game has just started. Just wait and watch."
Jai Pal belongs to Shera Khubban group and is said to be facing around 40 criminal cases including that of murder, extortion, kidnapping and robbery in different parts of country. He also mocked the police as he posted his present location as Kasauli.
Another member of he same group Vicky Gounder Sarawan Bodla, who is lodged in Nabha jail, uploaded a picture of Rocky saying that the killing of another gangster Gurshaheed Singh, alias Shera Khubban, had been avenged. Khubban was killed in an encounter in Bathinda in 2012.
Meanwhile one Sandeep Yadav of Sunny Chandbhan's group also claimed to have killed Rocky. He uploaded a post saying, that Rocky was killed by Dimpy Chandbhan's son. Rocky had killed Dimpy and the latter's son has taken revenge.
Some gangsters have also called Rocky a traitor, accusing him of having engineered the murder of Dimpy Chandbhan in 2006. He was later acquitted in the case.
Shortly after Rocky was shot dead in Parwanoo, the rival gangsters posted updates of his body and the blood-stained vehicle. These gangsters are learnt to be currently lodged in jails across Punjab, where cellphones are not allowed.
Some of the posts were subsequently taken down.
Gangsters rule from prison
Observers say that the gangsters in Punjab are in a game of one upmanship through the social media. "They just want to show their spheres of influence. Some of the gangsters have a large fan following on the social media. They keep on updating their deeds," said a senior media person who has been keeping an eye on crime in Punjab.
"The developments go on to show that these gangsters have access to smart phones in jail. Over the last two years more than 200 such devices have been recovered from those lodged in the jails all across the state. It is high time this practice is stopped and the authorities become more strict," he added.
The gangsters in Punjab are said to have links with their counterparts states like Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and so on.
That the murder took place in Himachal Pradesh also came as a shock because the state has a reputation of being relatively crime free. Second, the spot of crime is bustling 'round the clock especially with the construction of a four-lane national highway.
The authorities in Punjab appear to be unfazed by the manner in which gangsters are brazenly boasting about the murder on social media. Jail minister Sohan Singh Thandal told Catch, "I have ordered an investigation into the matter. The posts are not being uploaded from inside the jails. They are being uploaded by the members of the gangs on behalf of those who are lodged inside. We are trying to ascertain the locations from where these uploads have been carried out. These days, people claim to be at one location while they are actually some place else".
Observers however say that the developments are yet another pointer towards the degenerating law and order situation in the state.
Edited by Aditya Menon
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