New Town shootout: Search for missing link in gangster case

Jaipal Bhullar.

Police are looking for a man who allegedly introduced Jaipal Bhullar, who was gunned down in a police raid along with an accomplice on Wednesday, to Sumit Kumar alias Bharat Kumar and asked him to arrange the gangsters’ stay in Calcutta.

An officer said the suspect they were looking for might have fled the country.

Senior officers of Punjab police said findings of the investigation suggested that this man, whose identity the police refused to divulge, was the only missing link in the whole episode, starting from the shooting of two Punjab cops by Jaipal and Jaspreet on May 15 to their death in police firing in a New Town flat more than 2,000km away.

Multiple teams of Punjab police were dispatched earlier this week to look out for the gangsters and the linkmen who were helping them escape. A section of the police feels Jaipal and Jaspreet had been able to evade arrest and travel from one state to another because of Jaipal’s conning and cloning skills.

Bharat Kumar aka Sumit Kumar.

“Jaipal had started growing hair and used to have his long hair in a ponytail, while Jaspreet had grown a French cut beard. They did this to look different. Eighty plastic cards that are used to forge identity documents were found in the flat at Shukhobrishti housing complex where the duo had been staying and were shot down,” said an officer.

On their way to Bengal with Sumit Kumar, Jaipal and Jaspreet were carrying documents that identified them as “Rajiv” and “Bhushan Kumar”, respectively.

An officer said Jaipal was suspected to have obtained a fake Aadhaar card for Sumit Kumar that had fictitious details of one Akash Paul. The fake card — according to which, Akash is a resident of Pingla in West Midnapore — was used to procure a SIM card.

“The address on the Aadhaar card was false. It seems Jaipal had manufactured the card,” said an officer.

Sumit had allegedly used the SIM card that was obtained against “the fake Aadhaar card” to call a property dealer while he was searching for a hideout for Jaipal and Jaspreet.

Kumar was tracked down hours before the encounter with the help of his vehicle. The police said they had information that Kumar was travelling to Delhi in his Honda Accord that had a Bengal number plate but was not registered in his name.

He was arrested in Punjab on Wednesday, hours before he shared the location of Jaipal and Jaspreet with Punjab police.

The police have found clothes and some pen drives containing Hollywood action and thriller films in the flat where the gangsters were holed up.

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