Gangster Sampat Nehra, who was arrested on Wednesday by a special task force of Haryana Police, had been plotting to execute actor Salman Khan. Nehra was arrested in Hyderabad and has been brought to Gurugram on transit remand.
“Preliminary questioning during the journey from Hyderabad has revealed that Salman Khan was on the gang’s hitlist and Nehra alone had been assigned to execute the operation. He went to Mumbai for two days and clicked photographs, took note of the actor’s movement around the balcony and house in Galaxy Apartment, possibly to gauge the distance and weaponry required,” said Satheesh Balan, deputy inspector general, Haryana STF.
Nehra, 28, is the son of a retired assistant sub inspector of Chandigarh police and a national level decathlon athlete. He is a key member of Lawrence Bishnoi’s gang and accused in more than a dozen cases of murder, extortion, carjacking and robber. Nehra was arrested along with the aides in a carjacking case in 2016, but was later released on bail. Nehra met Bishnoi when they were both lodged in a Patiala Jail.
Bishnoi, currently lodged in Bharatpur jail in Rajasthan, had issued a death threat to Salman Khan in January 2018. “Bishnoi is running the network from jail and has been in touch with Nehra and other aides through mobile phones,” said Balan, adding that the police suspected Bishnoi’s gang, which uses social media and Whatsapp for its operations, receives funding from abroad.
A senior police official, requesting anonymity, said that Nehra had travelled in a train from Chhattisgarh to Mumbai in the third week of May. “He stayed in Ghatkopar, Mumbai. After the first recce, Nehra wanted to maintain a low profile and had been camping in Hyderabad for the past 20 days. He was going to return to Mumbai in a few days for another recce,” said the official.
The police said Nehra would be produced in the court for remand and further investigation.