Two Dera Sacha Sauda followers, Satpal Sharma and his son Ramesh Kumar, were shot dead by two unidentified assailants at their canteen at Naam Charcha Ghar, a meeting centre for the Dera followers, in Jagera village in Khanna in Ludhiana District.
United States 07-Mar-2017
Balwinder Singh, a citizen of India, was sentenced, on March 7, to 15 years in a US prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiring while living in northern Nevada to plot terror strikes in his home country (India), US. District Judge Larry Hicks in Reno also ordered Balwinder Singh to remain under lifetime federal supervision upon his release from prison after prosecutors argued that Singh has had ties to known terrorist groups in India for more than two decades. FBI Special Agent Aaron Rouse of Las Vegas said the plot was foiled after a co-conspirator was arrested trying to board a flight in San Francisco bound for Bangkok, Thailand, with two sets of night vision goggles purchased by Singh at a Cabela's sporting goods store in Reno. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Sullivan said it's possible Singh still will be extradited to India where he faces criminal charges in connection with a terror attack on a passenger bus that killed three people in India in April 2006. "This isn't somebody who was just recruited like some of the young people who think it's really cool to go get involved with the Jihad," Sullivan said. "Mr. Singh has been involved with terrorism or terrorist organizations for over 20 years."Prosecutors in the Justice Department's counterterrorism section say Singh worked with two terrorist organizations - Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) - to try to establish an independent Sikh state in the Punjab region.
Punjab Police arrested two suspected terrorists belonging to a terror module set up by a Europe-based Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) in Batala town of Gurdaspur District. Police also claimed to have recovered "a huge cache of arms and ammunition from their possession". The seizure included one 9 mm pistol, two magazines and 13 live rounds, two 32 bore pistols, along with 4 magazines and 33 live rounds and one 12 bore country made gun.
The Indian Government has lodged a strong protest with Canada over the presence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a Khalistan event in Toronto, where separatist elements were felicitated. "We have taken up such issues in the past with the government of Canada, and in this particular instance, without getting into details, I can tell you the practice has not been discontinued," said MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay. Two legislators, who had authored a motion in the Ontario assembly terming the 1984 anti-Sikh riots 'Genocide', were felicitated at the Khalistan event.
The BSF and the Punjab Police in a joint operation neutralised a terror module with links to Canada and Pakistan after arresting two suspected Khalistani militants. The two were arrested from the Indo-Pak border area when they were trying to recover weapons that were earlier smuggled into India from Pakistan, a Punjab Police spokesperson said. "Those arrested have been identified as Mann Singh (40) from Sri Hargobindpur in Gurdaspur and Sher Singh (28) from Kartarpur in Jalandhar," he said.Security forces have seized an AK-47 assault rifle, five hand grenades, a modified machine-pistol, five pistols and over 450 rounds of ammunition of different calibre from the duo.
Four persons, including a woman, were arrested, who according to the Police, were planning to carry out targeted killings under the banner - ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ from Bathinda District of Punjab. They have been identified as Harbarinder Singh of Amritsar, Amritpal Kaur of Ludhiana, and Jarnail Singh and Randeep Singh of Gurdaspur. Two pistols (4 magazines and 5 live rounds) were also recovered from them. On the radar of these “highly radicalised youth” were Congress leaders Tytler and Kumar, as well as those they considered responsible for incidents of sacrilege or desecration.
The Punjab Police arrested three terrorists having direct links with Pakistan's ISI-backed banned terror outfit, International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF). The arrested terrorists — Gurdial Singh, Jagroop Singh, and Satwinder Singh — had been trained and tasked by the ISI to carry out terror attacks and target various 'anti-Panth and anti-Sikh forces/individuals' by Pakistan-based ISYF 'chief' Lakhbir Rode and Harmeet Singh alias Happy alias PHD.
The UMHA has alerted Punjab government of a possible infiltration by Pakistan-based pro-Khalistanis in the wake of surcharged atmosphere on 33rd anniversary of Operation Bluestar. The alert said, "According to an input, the Lakhbir Rode group has planned to strike on the event of Ghallughara (Op Bluestar anniversary) week...He (Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale's nephew Lakhbir Rode) has convened a meeting at Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. A bag full of hand grenades has been provided to two terrorists, possibly of Indian origin, to create terror in Punjab. These terrorists are planning to cross over to India before June 6," it added. Sources said that ISI is funding Rode to exhorting his foreign contacts to support them in launching terror operations in Punjab. A huge rush of cops and paramilitary forces have secured the area of the Golden Temple in Amritsar and key border locations in rural hinterlands of Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Pathankot and Gurdaspur. This is the third alert in last two weeks. The first one was on a new radical group "being extremely agitated" over the continuing sacrilege incidents in Punjab, and wanting to teach a lesson to perpeterators of 2015 Faridkot sacrilege incident that had led to killing of two Sikhs in Police firing.
Police arrested two drug smugglers from Tarn Taran District and recovered contacts of about 130 Pakistan-based smugglers from their mobile phones. An official spokesperson said Sukhbir Singh alias Titu of Naushera Dhalla village in Tarn Taran District and Tasveer Singh alias Tassu of Dhanoya Kalan in Amritsar District both in their sixties were arrested. About 6 kg heroin, a Pakistani SIM card, two rifles and a motorcycle were recovered from them.
Punjab Police on June 21 arrested two persons with links to a suspected terror module neutralised in the month of May. Gurpreet Singh and Simranjit Singh were arrested from their native villages of Jiwanwal in Faridkot and Kamalpur in Moga District of Punjab. Police have not shared any evidence on the terror activity by any of the modules neutralised last month. The operation was done by the Punjab intelligence wing. However, ADGP (intelligence) Dinkar Gupta did not confirm who the targets of these men were and whether there was any specific alert from the ministry of home affairs or Interpol. The Police claimed two .32 bore pistols, four magazines and cartridges have been seized from them. The cops said Canada-based Gurjeet Cheema during his visit to India earlier this year, gave two pistols, along with ammunition to Gurpreet, who passed on one of the pistols to Simranjit.
The pro-Khalistani group, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has put out a statement as a direct threat to Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) if they try to remove its hoardings of referendum 2020 or pose any hindrance in their movement. SFJ leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said in a statement that "BJP will face serious consequences if they remove the Referendum 2020 hoardings."
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh approved a proposal of the State Police to set up an elite specially trained Special Protection Group (SPG) to deal with any terror attack and other threats in the State which shares border with Pakistan.
The three men arrested on August 9 night by Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Punjab Police had supplied pistols to pro-Khalistan militants for targeted political killings in Punjab. The arrested trio includes cousin of a Canada-based Khalistan separatist leader. The three were identified as Balkar Singh (45), Balwindar Singh (28) and Satyendra Rawat (26) from Dabra, Thatipur and Chinor areas of Gwalior District. According to key sources connected with the joint operation, Balkar was originally a native of Gurdaspur District of Punjab, who had migrated to Gwalior District over three decades back and was primarily engaged in agriculture.Gurmeet Cheema, Balkar’s cousin, operates an outfit Khalsa Sewa Dal (KSD) in Canada, and also has links with the terror outfits Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) and International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) which primarily operate from Pakistan.
The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested another alleged terrorist of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), identified as Jaswant Singh Kala from an Unnao farm house in Unnao District. He is wanted in multiple cases in Delhi, Rajasthan and Punjab and was hiding in the farm house for the past few weeks after allegedly killing a supporter of anti-Babbar Khalsa group in Punjab around two months ago. Kala was arrested on the revelations made by his accomplice Balwant Singh, who was staying with changed identity in Lucknow for the past five years. Balwant Singh was arrested from a Gurudwara on Nadan Mahal road in Lucknow on August 16 evening. He was Granthi at the Gurudwara. Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) of ATS, Rajesh Sahani said Jaswant Singh Kala has been one of the most active members of BKI. He said Kala is among Sikh hardliners who support pro-Khalistan groups. Sahani said Kala was involved in three sensational killings of the supporters of the anti-Babbar Khalsa groups in Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, and Faridkot and Nawa Shahar in Punjab in 2016 and 2017. He said Jaswant was earlier arrested under sedition charges and arms act from Delhi’s Modi Colony in 2008 and on similar charges in 2005.
Fresh Inputs from intelligence agencies suggeststhat Sikh militants are getting more support from across the border to foment trouble in Kashmir and other parts of the county. The fresh inputs show support for Manjit Singh, 'leader' of Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF). The intelligence inputs say this outfit is getting more active in South Kashmir and Kathua region of the state and in Punjab. Sikh radical elements sheltered in Pakistan are engaged in anti-India activities such as providing financial support to terror activities.
The Special Task Force (STF) arrested three members of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) group along with 2.5 kilograms of Heroin from Ludhiana city in Ludhiana District of Punjab. The STF arrested Gurlal, who, along with two other men, was going to Firozepur to supply the Heroin, sources said.
In joint operations that last all of last week, Punjab Police and UP ATS have arrested six suspects who had non-bailable warrants issued against them for their role in high-security Nabha jailbreak in Patiala (Punjab) in November 2016. Police said those arrested also have links with outlawed group BKI. One BKI suspect, identified as Harpreet Singh alias Jitendra Singh Tony was arrested from Mailani area in Lakhimpur Kheri District. Another BKI suspect, Satnam Singh was arrested by the joint team of the ATS, Punjab and local Police from Sikanderpur area of the Lakhimpur Kheri District. Sources said Police are close to busting a network of Sikh militants in the region, including from Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur and Lakhimpur Kheri. UP ATS IG Asim Arun said, "One of the terror suspects, Balwant Singh, who was arrested in Lucknow led us to Jitendra Singh Toni who is wanted for supplying arms during the armed jailbreak in November last year."
The counter intelligence wing of Punjab Police arrested seven militants of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) from Moga District. Sources said four of the accused are aged between 18 and 23 years. One is a minor. Commissioner of Police R N Dhoke said, "BKI was planning to carry out subversive activities in Punjab, especially against anti-Khalistan and anti-Sikh groups. These seven were handpicked by England-based Surinder Singh Babbar, who approached them through social networking sites. The arrested have no criminal background. They joined BKI a few months ago and were preparing for a big strike in Punjab." Police have also recovered one .32 bore pistol with 20 cartridges and two .315 bore country-made pistols with 13 cartridges from their possession.
A court in Jaipur (Rajasthan) awarded life sentence to Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF) militant, Harnek Singh for the abduction of Congress leader Ram Niwas Mirdha’s son Rajendra more than 22 years ago. Additional District Judge Pramod Malik also slapped a penalty of INR 20,000 on the convict. Harnek Singh, who belonged to terrorist outfit KLF, has been in jail since he was arrested by the Punjab Police in 2004. He was brought to Jaipur and arrested in this case on February 28, 2007. The Additional District Judge had held Singh guilty in the abduction case on October 5 and reserved the order on quantum of punishment for today (October 6).
For the first time, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) general secretary Gopal Singh Chawla publicly admitted to have been part of separatist 'Khalistan movement' and have also undergone training for the purpose. A video of Chawla has surfaced on social media on October 20 where he is seen as saying "I have been a part of Khalistan movement, I have also undergone training, I have been abusing India and its prime minister, if we want to get rid of India, we have to help this organization (MML- Milli Musli League)". Chalwa is seen addressing a gathering from the platform of MML, a political wing of the banned JuD, a front of anti India LeT. PSGPC general secretary Chawla in his speech addressed in Punjabi said that PSGPC receives minimum of five to seven thousand pilgrims every year from India. "We look into their eyes , out of those seven thousand pilgrims at least two thousand are RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] agents and we see a fear of Hafiz Saeed Sahib in their eyes". PSGPC's controversial general secretary also raised slogans in praise of Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwala and Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and said his organization (Punjabi Sikh Sangat) and supporters from UK and Canada would help MML. Calling terror mastermind as his 'Amir' (Ruler), Chalwa bestowed praise upon Hafiz Saeed saying that "Unha Indians dia nazra vich maray Aamir Hafiz Saeed Sab da khauf hunda hai" (There is fear of my Aamir Hafiz Saeed Sab in the eyes of those Indians)" he said.
The Punjab Police claimed that the militancy is returning to the State as it has busted many groups and arrested many people who were planning to carry out terror activities in the State. It said that several of the arrested men were planning to kill those who wrote or spoke against Sikhism. The latest such case involves seven youth who were arrested from Ludhiana on September 29 for allegedly being a part of the banned terror outfit Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).
The Punjab Police claimed that the militancy is returning to the State as it has busted many groups and arrested many people who were planning to carry out terror activities in the State. It said that several of the arrested men were planning to kill those who wrote or spoke against Sikhism. The latest such case involves seven youth who were arrested from Ludhiana on September 29 for allegedly being a part of the banned terror outfit Babbar Khalsa International (BKI). However, human rights activists and the accused’s kin have called these arrests the Police’s way to divert public attention from real developmental issues. The Police said that although the youth have no criminal past, it found incriminating evidence against them. It said that the seven accused were arrested for trying to disturb law and order by getting overactive on social media platform. The Police also recovered a 32-bore pistol, two 315 bore pistols and cartridges from the accused. The arrested accused were Kuldeep Singh alias Rimpi (29), who worked as a granthi (one who reads religious books in a Gurudwara) in Basti Jodhewal of Ludhiana, Jasvir Singh alias Jassa (32), of village Balipur of Tarn Taran; Amanpreet Singh alias Amna (21), of Shakti Nagar of Jalandhar; Onkar Singh (30), and Jugraj Singh of village Jhadu; and Amritpal Singh (30), of Amritsar. Ludhiana Police Commissioner RN Dhoke said, "The youth have no criminal background but their operations were funded by Surender Singh Babbar of BKI who operates from England." A case had been registered against the seven under the UAPA, 1967 and the Arms Act. The Police said that it has proof of the arrested accused were talking to terrorists and working for them as sleeper cells.
The terror module busted by the Punjab Police was allegedly operated by Pakistan-based Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) terrorist Harmeet alias Happy alias PHD, while the network of all operatives was spread in the UK, France and Italy. Happy’s name had figured in the questioning of the members of the previous terror modules also. The accused whose arrest was announced on November 7, Jimmy Singh of Jammu, Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi and gangster Dharmendra alias Guggni, were being questioned for further leads. Police sources claimed that the questioning had revealed they operated with a new modus operandi in which sub-groups of the module worked on different aspects of the killings.
Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh claimed that his Police force had cracked the string of targeted killings of religious leaders in the State by busting a terror module managed by Pakistan-based ISI. Amarinder said ISI was working in tandem with gangsters and 'cells' abroad to destabilise Punjab. The victims include RSS leader Brig Jagdish Gagneja (Retd), RSS activist Ravinder Gosain, Pastor Sultan Masih and two Dera Sacha Sauda supporters. Most of the killings took place in Ludhiana, Khanna and Jalandhar. Amarinder said that four persons have been arrested in this connection. This included UK national Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi, who had landed in India on October 2. Others are Jimmy Singh, who had stayed in the UK for several years, and alleged gangster Dharmendra alias Guggni, who was lodged in Nabha jail and had supplied weapons to the killers. The fourth accused, who is believed to be the main shooter in various cases, was caught on November 7th afternoon. Police officials said his identity cannot be revealed at this juncture as he is still being interrogated. Amarinder said, "Forensic and ballistic evidence in these cases matched, which confirms the hand of this module. The module was using encrypted mobile software and their main handler was the ISI, besides cells in other countries. The objective was to further ISI's agenda of carrying out anti-India activities to fan communal tension." Interrogation of the four conspirators showed that they had met and were trained in various places abroad and had been using encrypted mobile software and apps for communication with handlers based in Pakistan and some western countries
The Moga Police produced Mintoo and the four accused before the district magistrate in Baghapurana and procured their custody for five days.
The shooter who has confessed to his involvement in the seven targeted killings in Punjab, including RSS leaders Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (retd.) and Ravinder Gosain, since last year has been identified as Ramadeep Singh alias Raman Canadian (28), a resident of Chuharwal in Ludhiana District. After his arrest on November 7, Ramandeep was produced in Baghapurana court on November 8 and has been remanded to seven days of Police custody. During his interrogation, Ramandeep revealed that he had selected his targets to carry out killings at the behest of his ISI handlers and some of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) leaders, who have taken refuge in Pakistan, so as to create communal disturbances to destabilise the State.
Punjab DGP Suresh Arora interrogated four suspects for the murders of religious figures that took place in the State in the past months. Arora arrived at Moga (Moga District) a day after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh declared that the high-profile cases of the killings of religious figures had been solved with the arrest of four persons. Amarinder had also claimed that the gang members were being funded by Pakistan-based ISI. Harminder Singh Mintoo of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) and one of the main accused in Nabha jailbreak case is also learnt to have been brought to Moga on November 8 for questioning. Moga SSP Rajjit Singh confirmed that five suspects, including Mintoo, were in custody of the Moga Police and DGP Suresh Arora had questioned them personally.
The terror module busted by the Punjab Police on November 5 was allegedly operated by Pakistan-based KZF terrorist Harmeet alias Happy alias PHD, while the network of all operatives was spread in the UK, France and Italy. Happy's name had figured in the questioning of the members of the previous terror modules also. The accused whose arrest was announced on November 7, Jimmy Singh of Jammu, Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi and gangster Dharmendra alias Guggni, were being questioned for further leads.
The Punjab Police identified the fourth accused of the terror module as Ramandeep Singh, the sharp-shooter seen in CCTV footages with covered face on a motorcycle. Sources said Ramandeep had revealed the name of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo during his interrogation, following which the Moga Police brought him from the Nabha jail on a production warrant.
After bursting the ISI terror module, the Punjab Police claimed to have solved seven out of the eight cases of targeted killings in the State. The other three were Jimmy Singh of Jammu, Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi, a UK national, and Dharmender alias Gugni, an infamous gangster from Meharban village of Ludhiana.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Kirpal Singh Badungar said that “as per a Supreme Court [SC] ruling, there is nothing wrong in raising the demand for Khalistan”, a separate Sikh nation, and that “it is neither unconstitutional nor an offence”. He was talking to mediapersons in Amritsar in Punjab at Guru Ramdas Medical College where he attended a function along with Punjab’s Health Minister Brahm Mohindra. Badungar was replying to a question related to election of a Sikh as Mayor of Hoboken city in the US and reacting to alleged ‘labels such as terrorists and Khalistani attached with Sikhs. He was apparently referring to the SC verdict in a case about two men having shouted some slogans in Chandigarh after assassination of Indira Gandhi in Delhi in 1984. The court had held that mere shouting of slogans did not amount to sedition unless there was incitement to violence.
Punjab DGP Suresh Arora claimed that the handlers of the ISI-backed terror module behind targeted killings of religious leaders in the state were based in Italy, the UK and Canada. "The role of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) is being investigated. Although it is too early to share details, funding for the module from foreign sources has been confirmed," he said. The DGP made the announcement after the arrest of a second alleged sharp-shooter in the case on November 10th morning. Hardeep Singh Shera (21) of Fatehgarh Sahib is believed to be directly involved in at least three of the eight murders. Shera and the second jailed sharp-shooter, Ramandeep Canadian, were reportedly contacted on Facebook. So far, five people have been arrested over their alleged involvement in the killings. Those arrested include a UK national, Jagtar Singh Johal. Shera is believed to have fled to Italy six days after he allegedly killed Gagneja on August 6, 2016. His passport has revealed that he would leave the country after each killing and return when the ‘dust settled’. Officials were reluctant to give details, but said his passport bore visas for ‘many nations’. Arora said Shera tried to fire at the Police who confronted him at a gym in Fatehgarh Sahib on November 10. However, he was quickly overpowered. He has no criminal record.
According to reports, Shera had met KLF ‘commander’ Harminder Singh Mintoo in Italy three years ago. “Hardeep was adopted by his paternal uncle. He was just 18 when he met Mintoo in Italy. Mintoo had stayed at Hardeep’s place in Italy for 21 days and then he also tried to influence him with Khalistani ideology. He tried to radicalise him and asked him to join KLF but he refused them.
Absconding gangster Saraj Sandhu, in a post on a social media website, Facebook claimed to have killed the Hindu Sangharsh Sena leader Vipan Sharma in Amritsar on October 30. The Punjab Police had not included Vipan Sharma's murder in the list of targeted killings of religious leaders in the State which they had solved a week ago by busting a terror module managed by Pakistan's ISI agency. Saraj Sandhu, who is main accused in the Amritsar case, has been on the run after the murder. He allegedly also posted on his Facebook account on November 13 that the 'killing should not be linked with any religion.' "I want to tell my friends that the murder of Vipan Sharma which took place on October 30 on Amritsar-Batala road was committed by me," Sandhu allegedly admitted in his Facebook post, which has now been deleted. The incident comes just days after a Punjab gangster-turned-activist uploaded a Facebook video from Faridkot jail.
Amritsar DCP (investigation) Jagmohan Singh, said, "I do not believe that the gangster Saraj Sandhu had himself put this post on his Facebook account. It seems to have been done by someone else. But we are investigating the case." It is learnt that the Amritsar Police have brought Monday's (November 13) incident into the knowledge of its cyber-crime cell so as to ascertain as to who is behind the Facebook post.
A local court at Baghapurana in Moga District of Punjab extended the Police remand of the alleged hitman Ramandeep Singh and Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) ‘commander’ Harminder Singh Mintoo arrested in connection with a series of targeted killings in Punjab. Ramandeep’s Police remand has been extended for three days till November 18 and Mintoo’s for two days till November 17.
Punjab Police are investigating the role of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) member Gursharan Bir Singh in the series of targeted killings of religious leaders in the state over the past two years. Gursharan is also wanted in the murder of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat head Rulda Singh in Patiala on July 28, 2009. Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said that the State Police has got some leads about Gursharan's involvement while interrogating the men arrested for their alleged role in the killing of at least eight people, including former Punjab RSS vice-president Brig Jagdish Gagneja (retd) in Jalandhar. The State Police had recently arrested UK resident Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi in the targeted killings case. He was arrested from Jalandhar. DGP Suresh Arora said the Police are investigating the alleged links between Pakistan-based Harmeet Singh who is believed to be running Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)-back International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) and another fugitive Rampreet Singh alias Romy who is in Hong Kong. Romy is believed to have links with gangsters in Punjab and has been named as an accused in the 2016 Nabha jailbreak case as well. Police believe Harmeet trained the men involved in the targeted killings.
Frustrated by the failure of terrorist activities in J&K and other places, Pakistan's ISI is now planning to target Hindu leaders in India to create communal tensions with other communities, top Government sources said. Sources said that the ISI carried out the first such attack in Punjab, where RSS leader Ravinder Gosain was shot dead in Ludhiana in broad daylight on October 17 by gunmen hired using money routed through Europe, Dubai and Mumbai. According to sources, investigation has revealed that the Pakistani spy agency would try to follow the same modus operandi in other parts of the nation as well. Eight Hindus at the local level have so far been targeted by terrorists in Punjab. Investigation into these cases has been handed over to the NIA. ISI has been employing petty criminals to target leaders to trigger riots and violence in India in the run-up to 2019 polls. Security of key leaders has been tightened to thwart the ISI's plans, sources said.
A three-member team from the British High Commission met UK national Jagtar Singh Johal, arrested in connection with targeted killings in Punjab, to ascertain whether he was subjected to any human rights violation. The team from Delhi remained with Johal for about an hour, said DCP Dhruman Nimble. The commission officials asked the accused whether he was being given facilities available to all prisoners. He was also whether he was being tortured. Johal alias Jaggi is among five persons arrested in connection with the killing of RSS leader Jagdish Gagneja.
A year after the sensational Nabha jailbreak in Punjab’s Patiala, wherein two terrorist and four gangsters escaped from the prison with the help of 15 other gangsters, the Punjab Police have failed to nab eight accused, including two escapees and a Hong Kong-based handler. Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) ‘chief’ Harminder Singh Mintoo, another militant Kashmir Singh and gangsters Vicky Gounder, Gurpreet Singh Sekhon, Neeta Deol and Amandeep Dhotian had escaped on the morning of November 27, 2016. The daring act, the kind of which was never seen even during the heydays of militancy in Punjab, had rocked the nation.
In connection with RSS leader, Ravinder Gosain murder case, the NIA special court extended the custody of two accused—Ramandeep Singh alias Canadian and Hardeep Singh alias Shera. The investigation has some ramifications that suspects the role of Pakistan in this conspiracy, said senior special Public Prosecutor. Both the accused have links with the UK based banned Khalistan separatist groups—International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) and the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), said an official on condition of anonymity.
Security Forces arrested some pro-Khalistani militants from Punjab on November 4, which includes Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi—a citizen of the UK, allegedly using the Internet to lure youth to revive Sikh militancy in Punjab, Allegedly Jagtar Singh was in touch with Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) ‘chief’ Harminder Singh and other members of the outfit. Adding to the role of Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence Directorate (ISID), Chief Minister of Punjab—Amarinder Singh claimed that ISID always looks for the opportunity to disturb the internal security and peace in India, whether through Khalistan issue or anything else.
The Punjab Police filed a chargesheet against 11 Khalistan Zindabad Group (KZG) extrimist. Those named in the chargesheet included Harwinder Singh, Mohkam Singh Barnala, Amritpal Kaur, Tarsem Singh, Jarnail Singh, Satnam Singh, Sukhpreet Singh, Parminder Singh, Gaurav Kumar and Ramandeep Singh. They all were arrested in May 2017. However, one terrorist was not identified. During their arrests, the Punjab Police had recovered the letterhead of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and four weapons. The militants had formed the KZG and were planning to initiate another militant outfit — Jatha Veer Khalsa (JVK) - on the anniversary of the 1984 Operation Blue Star. These terrorists were financed by the Khalistani sympathisers based out in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom (UK), said an unnamed police official.
An NIA probe into a series of targeted killings, including those of RSS workers, Dera Sacha Sauda followers and a pastor in Punjab in the last two years has revealed that Pakistan's ISI is using Khalistani extremists to try and stoke communal unrest in the state. The plan was to foment tension by killing key people and revive militancy. ISI turned to Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) led by Harminder Singh Mintoo, lodged in Moga jail, and Harmeet Singh, said to be living in Pakistan under ISI cover. Details of the conspiracy were revealed during questioning of two hitmen — Ramandeep Singh alias Canadian and Hardeep Singh alias Shera — by the NIA in the case relating to the murder of Ravinder Gosain, an RSS pracharak, in Ludhiana in October 2017.
Desperate to create disturbances in India, Pakistani spy agency ISI is trying to revive terrorism in Punjab by recruiting radicalised youth from Canada and Europe while allegedly training them for sabotage activities in countries like Canada, Dubai and Thailand. Investigations by intelligence agencies have revealed that the ISI is using the annual pilgrimage to Nankana Saheb (birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev) to scout the radicalised Sikh youth and facilitate meetings with Sikh militants in Pakistan. "During the annual festival in Nankana Sahab in Pakistan, people from all over the world visit there and the ISI uses this occasion to facilitate meetings between Pak-based terrorist and their sympathisers who come from all over the world in guise of pilgrims," sources in the security agencies said.
India’s NIA has been assigned six cases to investigate which are related to the Khalistan movement. Out of six, four cases are registered in Ludhiana and two in Khanna (Punjab). So far, the Punjab Police was investigating the case but now-on the NIA teams will investigate the matter. The NIA team has already reached the location, Ludhiana and Khanna to take over the investigation, said the NIA statement.The modus operandi in all six cases is similar therefore, regarding the possibility of domestic and international ramifications of the conspiracy in the matter, the Punjab Government had decided to hand-over the investigation to the NIA. After the discussion with top officials of the Punjab Police, the decision of transfer of the cases to the NIA team led by its Director Y.C. Modi, earlier this month.
Burhan Wani—a ‘militant’ poster boy of Hizb-ul Mujahideen (HM) – who was killed in July 2016 has been adopted by the Sikh radical groups and posed as a ‘Hero of Freedom of Kashmir’ on the cover-page of the August 2016 issue of magazine—Vangaar, which went on sale at the Shaheedi Jor Mela in Fatehgarh Sahib District in Punjab. Reportedly, the magazine was being sold at a big-stall managed by supporters of Siromani Akali Dal (SAD) of Amritsar, near the Rauza Sharif along with other radical material including books, car-stickers, badges of Khalistani militants including Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
The Indian Government informed the Rajya Sabha about the involvement of Pakistan's ISI in revival of the Khalistan movement in Punjab, through moral and financial support to the pro-Khalistan entities. Responding to the situation, the Government has implemented an integrated approach to counter such anti-India attempts via strengthening the vigilance along the borders and mechanisms of gathering and sharing of intelligence inputs, said Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir.