CHANDIGARH: In an international operation, former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassin Jagtar Singh Tara (37) was on Tuesday arrested in Thailand by Thai Police based on a tip-off on his movements given by the Punjab Police after he escaped from the high-security Burail Jail here ten years ago. A Bangkok has court approved his extradition to India.
Sources said the Sikh militant was arrested from the house of Bari, said to be the brother of Sultan Bari, a Pakistan-based Inter Service Intelligence agent. Tara was living under the alias Gurmeet Singh, son of Kaka Singh, on a Pakistani passport in Thailand. In June last year, he had moved to Thailand from Pakistan. Before that he lived in Pakistan after he escaped from the jail through Nepal.
A Punjab Police team had gone to Thailand in September and in November another team was sent to arrest Tara though he went into hiding. “Tara is in the custody of the Thailand Police and we will be completing all formalities to bring him back as soon as possible,” said a senior Punjab Police officer. Thai National Police spokesperson Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri said, “Gurmeet Singh entered Thailand in October and was arrested in the province of Chonburi on Monday. He faces extradition to India.” Tara, who was a self-styled commander of Khalistan Tiger Force, was one of the masterminds in the assassination of Beant Singh outside the Secretariat in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995. Besides Beant, 17 others lost their lives in the attack. Tara, along with assassins Paramjit Singh Bheora, Jagtar Singh Hawara and their accomplice Dev Singh, had escaped from the Burail Jail in 2004 after digging a 100-feet tunnel.