NEW DELHI: In a surprising move, Thailand on Monday issued a lookout notice for Jagtar Singh Tara, a top Babbar Khalsa terrorist, on India’s request. This is part of the Centre’s urgent crackdown on what is being termed as re-configuration and likely impetus to Punjab militancy with help from across the border.
The intelligence alert of a key Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist has provided the much-needed opportunity to Indian and Thai law enforcement agencies to dismantle the safe haven of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
On Monday, the Thai military police put out a public lookout notice for Jagtar Singh Tara, one of the accused in the killing of former Punjab CM Beant Singh. He escaped from the high security Burail jail in Chandigarh in 2004 after digging a tunnel, along with other accused persons. He was believed to have escaped to Pakistan. Though the other escapees were caught, Tara continued to evade the police.
The information provided by Indian security agencies suggests that Tara is taking an out of the way route in Thailand to reach the BKI headquarters in Pakistan.
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The Thailand military’s Internal Security Operations Command Region (ISOC) made the announcement, and released his photographs as well. The photos are of a clean-shaven man, which is unlike previously seen mugshots of Tara.
The press conference by the Thai authorities disclosing the intelligence input has only added to the speculation that Tara may have already been nabbed there.
A top intelligence source confirmed that a big operation is underway but refused to divulge whether Tara has been arrested. “I’m neither confirming nor denying it,” the source said.
According to diplomatic sources, Thailand has been “very, very helpful” in acting on the Indian request.
Sources pointed out that once Tara is shown arrested, there will not be significant obstructions in his deportation to India as both countries signed an extradition treaty last year.