With newly constituted Anti-Gangster Task Force (AGTF) swinging into action, Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab V.K. Bhawra on Monday gave a clarion call to the people of the state to join hands with the police against the anti-social elements trying to disrupt the peace and harmony.
Headed by ADGP Promod Ban, the AGTF has been constituted on the directives of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to intensify action against gangsters using intelligence based inputs and coordinating with field units of Punjab Police.
The AGTF will work directly under the supervision of the DGP.
Bhawra told the media here that there have been recent reports about rise in gangster-related murders in the state but the fact is it has marginally decreased in comparison to last two years.
The crime data indicates that 158 murders have taken place in the state this year in almost 100 days making an average of 50 murders per month, while in previous years, the number of murders was 724 and 757 in 2021 and 2020, respectively, making the monthly average of murders for 2021 and 2020 was 60 and 65 murders respectively.
“This is not a happy situation. Punjab Police has been making strenuous efforts to eliminate the gangster culture in the state and will continue to make efforts in this direction,” said the DGP, while soliciting the support and cooperation of the public to further bring down the crime graph.
Divulging more details, Bhawra said taking action against organised gangs and criminals since January 1, 2022, various units of Punjab Police have busted 16 gangster modules and arrested 98 individuals involved in these activities.
A large cache of weapons have been recovered from them which includes four rifles and 68 pistols and revolvers, besides impounding 30 vehicles used by these criminals, he added.
He said six gangster-related murders witnessed in the state in 2022, all of which have been traced after a thorough investigation on professional lines and 24 accused involved in these cases have been arrested along with a recovery of seven pistols, 18 cartridges and seven vehicles.
All these were blind murders in which culprits were not known, he said, adding that efforts are on to arrest the remaining accused.
Also, there were nine non-gangster related murders this year, causing sensation amongst the public which have also been traced and most of the accused have been arrested, said the DGP.
He said family or matrimonial dispute, rivalry or monetary dispute etc were among the main reasons behind these crimes.