The police have arrested three drug smugglers after a brief encounter in which several rounds of ammunition were exchanged.
SSP Gulneet Singh Khurana said two of the suspects, Karandeep Singh and Mandeep Singh, were history-sheeters and that the police had been on their trail for the past one year.
The third smuggler has been identified as Hardeep Singh, alias Saba. All three are residents of Mehma Chak village in Gurdaspur district.
The incident occurred around 8 pm last night near Jakholahri on the Dinanagar-Pathankor road. Khurana said a police team led by CIA in charge Navdeep Singh spotted a car without a registration plate at a check post at Jakhlolahri.
“When the driver, Karandeep, was signalled to stop the vehicle, he opened fire and tried to speed away. However, the team intercepted the car at some distance and arrested the three occupants,” he said.
The SSP said 265 gm heroin, a US-made pistol and five cartridges were found from the possession of the suspects. “A team had been formed to identify the recipient of the drugs. While Karandeep faces several cases, Mandeep too was wanted in six cases, including one related to attempt to murder,” he said.
A case under various sections, including 307 (attempt to murder), of the IPC had been registered at the Pathankot Sadar police station. A case under the NDPS had also been made out against the accused, he added. Meanwhile, the police got a two-day police remand from a local court. “We are interrogating the three. If the need be, more arrests will be made. Security has been beefed up in the district,” said the SSP.