CHANDIGARH: The Punjab police Tuesday said it has arrested four operatives of a targeted killing module, including a former Indian Army jawan, backed by foreign-based handlers of the proscribed Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF).
Jaspreet Singh alias Noopi, who had joined the Indian Army as a Sepoy in 2012, was lodged in a jail in a murder case in 2017.
"After escaping from the jail, Noopi came in contact with foreign-based KLF handlers who motivated and induced him to raise a terror-module to carry out targeted killings in the state," Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said.
The other three arrested persons have been identified as Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Fatehpur Bunga village in Rupnagar, Gaurav Jain of Kaliawala village of Sirsa district, and Parshant Silelan alias Kabir, a native of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, the DGP said in the official statement.
Khanna Senior Superintendent of Police Gursharan Singh Grewal said the Khanna police had stopped a car based on a tip-off during a special checking at GT Road Khanna.
Three persons got out of the vehicle and tried to flee after opening fire at the police team, he said.
However, the police managed to nab Jaswinder and Gaurav on the spot, while Noopi was arrested later, alongwith Kabir, another accomplice.
The police recovered two .32 bore pistols, along with 4 magazines and ammunition from the possession of accused persons, besides a car which had been snatched by Noopi at gunpoint from Zirakpur last month.
Gupta said that during investigations, Noopi confessed to have snatched the car, besides looting Rs 50,000 from a petrol pump in Kharar on July 3, 2021, with the help of his associates.
"Noopi disclosed that he had come in contact with anti-India individuals and elements based abroad with links to the KLF terrorist outfit, who had funded him from abroad for carrying out target killings in Punjab and also arranged pistols for him from UP to carry out terror acts in Punjab," said Gupta.
Noopi also conducted recces of sensitive targets in Punjab in pursuance of his violent intentions, he added.
SSP Khanna said that preliminary investigations revealed that the module had received funding from abroad via various digital platforms and foreign handlers also provided three weapons to the module from Rudrapur in Uttrakhand.
Further investigations are on, he added.