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Wanted criminals nabbed

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, AUG. 6. An alleged drug peddler and his accomplice, who is a law graduate and has earlier served in the Indian Navy, were arrested by the Inter-State Cell of the Crime Branch from Dwarka in South-West Delhi police on Thursday. Two country-made firearms with three live cartridges were recovered from their possession.

According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), Tejinder Luthra, the Inter-State Cell received a tip-off that the duo would come in a stolen Toyota Qualis near Dada Bhai Wala Mandir at Dwarka Sector 20. Subsequently, a team comprising Inspector Subhash Tandon under the supervision of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ravi Shankar, was formed to mount a raid.

The police laid a trap near the temple and intercepted the Qualis. They overpowered the suspects before they could fire at them. The two were identified as Prem Singh Dhanda (35) and Jaswant Kumar (45). Mr. Luthra said Prem is a registered bad character of Narnod police station at Hissar in Haryana and has also committed several crimes in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. During interrogation, he confessed to his involvement in at least 30 cases of robbery, dacoities, extortions and other offences.

Prem disclosed that he had stolen the Qualis from Faridabad. Mr. Luthra said he had been arrested twice by the Delhi police for a robbery case at Jafarpur Kalan in 1998 and two cases of cheating and misappropriation at Naraina and Alipur police stations.

Mr. Luthra said Prem is a highly educated person. He graduated from Kakatia University of Warangal in Andhra Pradesh in Public Administration, did post-graduation in the same subject from Punjab University and then graduation in law from Bundelkhand University of Jhansi in Madhya Pradesh. He also served in the Indian Navy as Ship Wright Artificer. Before he got enrolled in Bundelkhand University for graduation in law, he had contested Zila Parishad elections from Hissar in 1994. During that election, he allegedly abducted a contestant and opened fire in the process, after which a case was registered against him. Later, he lost the elections and got initiated into the world of crime.

It is learnt that Prem was planning to get himself enrolled as a practicing lawyer in the Bar Council and had recently approached a lawyer friend for the purpose. Prem had also visited his house to collect his certificates.

His accomplice, Jaswant, is allegedly a drug peddler from Punjab. He revealed that he had developed contacts with drug peddlers operating in Delhi. In 1996, he was arrested in Amritsar after the police recovered 44 kg smack from his possession.

After two years, the Delhi police arrested him at Adarsh Nagar and recovered 84 kg smacks from a truck in which he was travelling. He was subsequently booked by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and sent to Tihar Central Jail where he met Prem. After being released on parole, Jaswant kept evading arrest.

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