In a major breakthrough, the Organised Crime Control Unit (OCCU) of Punjab Police on Friday arrested five hardcore criminals and seized weapons from their possession after a brief encounter, which left one of the wanted criminals, John Buttar, injured, in Kharar town, near here.
According to Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta, besides two 9 mm pistols, a .30 bore, a 32 bore and two .315 bore pistols and 20 cartridges of different calibre were recovered from them.
Gupta said Buttar was wanted in over 18 criminal cases of murder, attempt to murder, dacoity and extortion and was a proclaimed offender.
He said the police had to resort to retaliatory firing after the suspects, who were hiding in Sunny Enclave, opened fire at the OCCU's raiding team.
Buttar, who is the key accused in the killing of gangster Kuldeep Singh, alias Keepa, was injured in the retaliatory firing and was admitted to hospital. No policeman sustained any injuries.
Gupta said a special operation team, led by AIG Gurmeet Chauhan, raided the hideout of the suspects in Sunny Enclave after a tip off.
Cornered, the suspects tried to flee and opened fire at the police party but were overpowered soon.
A First Information Report was registered against the five arrested criminals.
Gupta said Buttar is also the main accused in the firing incident on the associates of Shinder Singh, a former sarpanch.
He had also uploaded videos on Facebook claiming responsibility for the killing and had warned him of dire consequences.
Another arrested accused Palwinder Singh is also a proclaimed offender in a murder case of gangster Kuldeep Singh in Moga town.
Amrik Singh has narcotics and liquor smuggling cases registered against him. Similarly, Amritpal Singh has previously been booked in liquor smuggling cases, the DGP added.