NEW DELHI: Khalistan militant Gursewak Singh alias Babla, an associate of slain Sikh extremist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, was arrested in the national capital. Additional Commissioner of Crime Ajit Kumar Singla said Singh, 53, was arrested on Tuesday near ISBT where he had come to meet a contact.
The Ludhiana native is involved in more than 50 cases of terrorist activities, murders, bank and police station dacoities, and robberies in Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh during 1980s. According to the police, Singh was planning to re-constitute his unit on the instructions of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) chief Paramjeet Singh Panjwad, and was in touch with Jagtaar Singh Hawara and other militants lodged at jails in India.
“Non- Bailable Warrants (NBWs) for his arrest were issued by the Patiala House Courts in two cases as he was evading trial,” Singla said. Technical and manual surveillance revealed Singh was in touch with some of the militants kept in the Tihar jail. “In 1984, when Bhindranwale was killed, most of his associates fled to Pakistan where they were trained and supported by the ISI... Singh was involved in murders of informers of security agencies and in bank dacoities,” said the senior police officer. In May 1984, Singh and his associates killed group editor of Hind Samachar newspaper Ramesh Chander in Jalandhar, the police said.
He was arrested after an encounter but escaped in 1985 from police custody from the Bhilwada railway station in Rajasthan. Singh and his associates attacked the residence of retired Punjab Police chief Julio Riberio at Jalandhar in 1986. “He was arrested again. Thereafter, he remained in jail and most of the time in the High Risk Ward, Tihar Jail till 2004 for a period of about 18 years.” The KCF militant escaped from police custody again in 2004. But, he was again arrested.
“After coming out of jail in 2010, he remained involved in several cases of robbery etc. and was three times arrested by the Ludhiana Police in 2014, 2015 and 2016,” Singla said. The Crime Branch arrested him under the Arms Act in 2017. “He is facing trial in this case in the Patiala House Courts and was not attending the court. The court had issued NBWs against him in this case too.”