Raina's uncle Ashok Kumar, 58, suffered head injuries and died on the spot, according to police. Kaushal Kumar, 32, the elder son of Ashok, died on Monday night at a private hospital, Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gulneet Singh Khurana said.
A cousin of former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital in Punjab’s Pathankot, days after his relatives were attacked by robbers, police said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Police formed a four-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the attack.
The move came after Raina took to Twitter on Tuesday, demanding a probe into the incident, in which his uncle and cousin died.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh assured the cricketer that those behind the brutal attack will be brought to justice.
The attack by robbers had taken place in Pathankot’s Tharyal village on the night intervening August 19 and 20.
According to police, three to four members of the notorious “Kale Kachhewala” gang attacked them while they were sleeping on the terrace of their house.
Raina’s uncle Ashok Kumar, 58, suffered head injuries and died on the spot, according to police.
Kaushal Kumar, 32, the elder son of Ashok, died on Monday night at a private hospital, Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gulneet Singh Khurana said.
Police said Ashok’s wife Asha Devi is critical while their second son Apin, 28, is out of danger.
“The second son has undergone surgery for an injury to his jaw,” Khurana said.
Ashok’s mother Satya Devi, 80, has been discharged from hospital.
The four-member SIT will be headed by Inspector General (Border Range) SPS Parmar with SSP Gulneet Singh Khurana, Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Prabhjot Singh Virk and Dhar Kalan DSP Ravinder Singh as members.
Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) Ishwar Singh has been tasked with the day-to-day supervision of the investigation while Parmar has been authorised to co-opt any other police officer(s) posted in the state for expeditious investigation, said DGP Dinkar Gupta.
Though initial investigations suggest the attack had the “signature of criminals belonging to a de-notified criminal tribe”, who are often seen to operate along the Punjab-Himachal border, the SIT has been mandated to examine all possible angles, said Gupta in a statement.
Teams from the Organised Crime Control Unit have also been roped in to carry out a probe into the case, he said.
Inter-state raids are being conducted to hunt out suspects involved in past crimes of similar nature and more than 35 suspects are under the scanner.
A few people from Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have been identified as suspects and their mobile location and whereabouts are being traced.
Raids have also been carried out in Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran and Amritsar in coordination with local police, said the DGP.
Six labourers who worked with victim Ashok Kumar, a government contractor, have been interrogated, said police.
Tower dumps (mobile communication details) of the crime scene and nearby areas have been taken and sent for a technical analysis to track suspicious movements, said the DGP.
He said CCTVs of the area have been checked. Investigations so far suggest the accused had planned to rob or trespass three other houses in the neighbourhood, the DGP said.
Similar incidents in Punjab are also being checked to ascertain whether the suspects in those cases were in jail or out, said the DGP, adding he will regularly update Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on it as he has directed to ensure expeditious investigation.
The IG is also at liberty to obtain the support and assistance of any other wing of the Punjab Police to probe the case, said the DGP.
Earlier in the day, Raina tweeted, “What happened to my family is (sic) Punjab was beyond horrible. My uncle was slaughtered to death, my bua & both my cousins had sever (sic) injuries. Unfortunately, my cousin also passed away last night after battling for life for days. My bua (aunt) is still very very critical & is on life support,” he said.
“Till date we don’t know what exactly had happened that night & who did this. I request @PunjabPoliceInd to look into this matter. We at least deserve to know who did this heinous act to them. Those criminals should not be spared to commit more crimes. @capt_amarinder @CMOPb,” he added, tagging the post to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Later, the CM condoled the death of the cricketer’s relatives in a tweet.
“Have ordered SIT probe into the case and have asked @DGPPunjabPolice to identify & arrest the culprits at the earliest. Beta, my DC & SSP have met the family and we will make sure that the guilty are brought to justice,” the CM tweeted.
Meanwhile, the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal slammed the state government over the incident, alleging a spurt in robbery cases.
Flaying the government, party leader Bikram Singh Majithia in a statement alleged that those ruling the state have “locked themselves up and left people to their fate”.