Chandigarh: Gangsters, drug-operatives, and terror organisations are now roping in minors for smuggling and peddling drugs, and also as part of various assassination bids.
This has come to light after the Delhi Police nabbed three suspected shooters from Patiala who were involved in the killing of Pradeep Kumar the Dera Premi accused in the 2015 sacrilege case in Faridkot. Sources said, two of these three are just 14-year-olds, who strayed from the mainstream of life. They wanted instant fame and were trigger-happy juveniles with no ideological moorings.
This is the second such case of the involvement of minors in a major criminal activity in Punjab. Before this, one of those involved in the Punjabi rapper-cum-singer Sidhu Moosewala murder cases was 17-year-old Ankit Sersa.
The two juveniles arrested in the Dera Premi’s murder were followers of Sersa, whose fan following suddenly shot up after Moosewala was eliminated and Sersa’s name popped up in the crime.
Since minors are tried under the Juvenile Act and do not undergo the punishment of more than three years, and subsequently have to be sent for resettlement and rehabilitation, this is one reason why they are part of drugs and assassination plots.
A lot of drug mafia and snatchers in the National Capital Region NCR also recruit minors so that they are not tried under harsher laws. In the past six years, hundreds of cases of minors being used to peddle drugs were busted in Delhi, Jammu, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kochi, and other places.
Former Director General of Police Punjab Shashi Kant says, “It is a wake-up call for the law enforcement agencies so that they are a step ahead of the gangsters and drug lords. The new twist in Dera Premi’s murder shows how the strategy is to carry out nefarious activities by using unsuspecting teenagers who may not look like criminals and are protected under the Juvenile delinquency provisions.”
The poor education system, negligent parents, peer pressure, and substance abuse are some of the reasons why teenagers get into drugs and crime. Canada-based Goldy Brar’s involvement in this particular crime is being investigated. In the recent months after the Sidhu Moosewala murder, Bishnoi gang had drawn a lot of ire of the Sikh hardliners thus making it difficult for Goldy Brar to walk openly in Canada. The killing of the Dera Premi may have been a ploy to win over the hearts of the Sikh hardliners.