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Senior Punjab Police officer's son, gunman behind Rs.40 mn heist

National, Sun, 12 Oct 2008 IANS

Jalandhar, Oct 12 (IANS) The son of a senior Punjab Police officer has been arrested along with his official gunman for allegedly masterminding the theft of diamonds and jewellery worth Rs.40 million (Rs.4 crore) from a Mumbai-based diamond trader, police said Sunday.


Officials here said that Mohit Sharma, son of Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Shiv Kumar, who is posted as senior superintendent of police (SSP) with the vigilance bureau and is pursuing corruption cases against former chief minister Amarinder Singh and others, was arrested Saturday along with his gunman.



Kumar is posted in Patiala, 90 km from Chandigarh.



The diamonds and jewellery worth Rs.40 million were recovered from Mohit Sharma's possession, deputy superintendent of police R.S. Sohal said here.



The arrest of the SSP's son has left the Punjab Police embarrassed. The involvement of one gunman and suspicion that some of the other five people involved in robbing the diamond merchant near Phillaur town, 40 km from here, Thursday night could also be official gunmen, is further worrying the police.



The jeweller, Bhavesh Shah, was robbed while he was returning to Ludhiana by taxi from Jalandhar after transacting his business. The robbers threw chilli powder in his eyes and stabbed him, the police said. The trader and his associate were dumped on the side of the highway and the robbers fled in the taxi he was travelling in.



Mohit Sharma, who runs a jewellery shop in Ludhiana, had known Shah because of their previous business dealings.



Sharma was Sunday remanded to police custody by a court here till Oct 15.



The police Sunday raided Sharma's jewellery shop and residence in Ludhiana and recovered diamonds and jewellery worth Rs.40 million.



Police investigators said that Sharma had arranged the taxi for Shah to go to Amritsar and hatched a conspiracy with his two gunmen and three others to loot the diamond merchant at a desolate place on National Highway No.1 near Phillaur.



Sharma, 26, is a product of Shimla's famous Bishop Cotton School.


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