The Hush Post: Harjinder Singh alias Vicky Gounder , the notorious gangster who was killed in an encounter with the police on Friday evening was once a national level athlete. Gounder belonged to Sarawan Bodla village in Muktsar, and had won several medals in discus throw event at the national level. In fact, sportspersons turning into gangsters is a latest story of Punjab’s youth. Not just Gounder, Jaipal Singh, whose gang he belonged to once, himself was a hammer thrower. Another of Jaipal’s gang member, Harinder Singh Tinu, was a shotputter and about to migrate to New Zealand when he came in touch with Jaipal. Yet another member of the same gang was Shera Khuban alias Gurshahid Singh, also a hammer thrower. All of them were big bodied and became extortionists first and later gangsters.
Born to a marginal farmers, Gounder entered the dark world of crime after coming into contact with Shera Khuban who was killed in 2012. At that time, Gounder was Khuban’s cook. Another accomplice of Khuban was Sukha Kahlwan. After Khuban’s death, Kalwan took over. But Gounder did not like Kalwan’s supremacy and he formed his own gang.
Their rivalry assumed such a proportion that in 2015, Gounder and his men pumped 60 rounds of fire into Kalwan. Not only that, Gounder and his men danced around his body even as the policemen who were taking Kalwan to jail remained there are mute spectators.
The Gounder story goes back to 2009, when he was just 19. He got himself enrolled into a sports academy in Jalandhar for further training. Here he became friends with Prema Lahoriya who was a 100 metres hurdle sprinter. Sukha Kahlwan too was there. Both of them indulged in heinous crimes. While, Gounder was at the academy, Kahlwan murdered his close associate, Lovely Baba. This didn’t go down well with Gounder and their friendship turned into rivalry. Gounder left the academy and returned home.
He then conspired with Prema Lahoriya and hatched a plan to kill Kahlwan. On January 20, 2015, Gounder along with Lahoriya, Gurpreet Sekhon, Neeta Deol and Rammi Machchana murdered Sukha Kahlwan in broad daylight while he was travelling with a police party for a court hearing. That’s when Kalwan was killed.
At the age of 28, Gounder had a number of cases, including 15 that of murder, against him in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The notorious criminal carried a bounty of Rs. 10 lakhs on his head.