CHANDIGARH: Just a week before Independence Day, the Punjab police, in a joint operation with the counter-intelligence wing, on Wednesday busted an alleged Khalistani millitant module and arrested seven people, including two NRIs, here.
Inspector General Loknath Angra said police recovered three pistols, ammunition and explosives and nearly 15 bullet-proof jackets. These were brought from Pakistan via the border in Tarn Taran. Officials said the arrested had links with Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.
Hoshiarpur police said three Khalistani militants, two NRIs and two Gurdaspur residents were arrested. The accused, aged between 20 and 22 years, were identified as Jaspreet Singh, Hardeep Singh and Kuldip Singh. Harjap Singh Japi from the US, who had connections with the organisation Sikhs for Justice, and Avtar Singh from Italy were booked on charges of trying to revive terrorism in the state. Gurdaspur residents Vikramjit Singh and Balwinder Singh were also arrested in relation to the case. Jaspreet, who is a Sikh martial art teacher at a gurdwara in the Chhakowal Shiekhan village, hails from Handowal in Hoshiarpur.
Hardeep and Kuldip got in touch with Jaspreet during their daily visits to the gurdwara. Jaspreet and Hardeep were arrested after police tracked their phone calls and based on the information they gave, Kuldip was nabbed.
NRI Avtar had met Jaspreet at the gurdwara on October 11, 2015. He went back to Italy and motivated him on the phone to revive the Khalistan movement. Jaspreet roped in the other two alleged militants. Both the NRIs had motivated Jaspreet and sent him money to buy T-shirts and religious literature. The duo belong to Hoshiarpur and were arrested after police tracked the phone calls they had made to Jaspreet. “The conspiracy was unearthed earlier this month and the case was registered on August 6,” said a police official adding thay while probing the three militants they had revealed the identities of four of their sympathisers.