After Lawrence Bishnoi, the Punjab police have now taken custody of gangster Jagdeep Singh, who too was lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail, to investigate his role in the murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala last month.
Singh, also known as Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, is considered close to Bishnoi. A Mansa court Thursday sent him to seven days’ custody.
With more than 65 cases registered against him — most of these are in Punjab — Bhagwanpuria came into wider prominence during the term of Amarinder Singh’s Congress government over his alleged links to two state politicians. He was in Tihar jail over a case lodged under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
Bhagwanpuria was brought on transit remand from Patiala House Court in Delhi to Mansa late Wednesday night. Police sources said Bhagwanpuria, who is already convicted in two NDPS and one attempt to a murder case, will be brought face to face with Bishnoi.
The sources said they are probing his role in providing shooters and weapons to kill Moosewala. Two of the shooters, Jagroop Roopa and Manu Kussa, are allegedly linked to Bhagwanpuria.
A kabaddi player-turned-gangster, Bhagwanpuria has been in jail since 2015.
His mother, Harjit Kaur, was elected as panch (she was fighting from the Congress) in 2018 in his ancestral village of Bhagwanpur in Dera Baba Nanak, the constituency of then Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.
A 2020 report signed by three IPS officers — then Inspector General of Police Kunwar Vijay Partap (now an AAP MLA), then Deputy Inspector General (Counter-Intelligence) Surjit Singh, and then Additional Inspector General Patil Ketan Balaram — says Bhagwanpuria was closely linked to politicians.
The report, we learned, was prepared to probe specific issues raised in a December 3, 2019 representation made by Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and then state BJP chief Shwait Malik to then Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
“It has been reliably learned that Jaggu Bhagwanpuria was transferred to Amritsar Jail from Ropar Jail at the insistence of Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia; just before the elections of Lok Sabha in 2019,” says the report.
Before the report, Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia and the Jails Minister Randhawa, from the Congress, had a war of words over Bhagwanpuria. Majithia had alleged that Randhawa was patronizing the gangster who was running an extortion racket from jail.
Responding to the allegations, Randhawa had also said that a total of 44 cases had been registered against Bhagwanpuria, of which 29 were lodged in Majithia’s constituency.
The police report states: “Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, who was a street-level offender, became a notorious gangster from 2010 onwards when Bikram Singh Majithia became all-powerful after Sukhbir Singh Badal took over the charge of the Home Department looking after the police. Jaggu has been involved in many serious crimes during this period. Against him, there were at least 4 FIRs in 2010, 6 FIRs in 2011, 6 FIRs in 2012, 5 in 2013, 17 in 2014, and 10 in 2015. Most of them are serious. As regards the political affiliation of Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, the above facts and circumstances and reliable sources suggest that he (Jaggu) as a gangster is a creation of Bikram Singh Majithia and his supporters.”
The report gave a clean chit to Randhawa, “As regards the alleged involvement of Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa with Jaggu Bhagwanpuria or any other gangster, the allegations have been proved baseless. There is nothing to suggest from the available information/source report that Randhawa has been associated with any gangster either as Jail Minister or otherwise.”
When asked about the police report, SAD spokesperson Virsa Singh Valtoha said: “All such reports either by STF chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu or Kunwar Vijay Partap are not neutral. Randhawa had asked Amarinder to appoint Kunwar Vijay Partap for probing the Kotakpura and Behbal Kalan firing incidents. He prepared a police firing report to politically benefit the Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal. The report was quashed by the High Court.”
Bhagwanpuria was also accused of killing his wife and a case was registered against him. Harmanprabh Sharanpreet Kaur was found dead under mysterious circumstances on the night of April 10, 2019, after around 10 years of marriage. According to police, Bhagwanpuria used to suspect his wife of infidelity. It is alleged that he also killed her ‘lover’.