CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Police on Saturday night arrested two activists of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) for their alleged involvement in several heinous crimes, including the murder of a Dera Sacha Sauda follower and firing at a priest.
Lovepreet Singh alias Ravi and Ram Singh alias Sonu were reportedly acting on the directions of the outfit’s Canada-based chief, Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
It may be noted that Nijjar has been designated as a terrorist by the Home ministry and the NIA has also attacked his properties in last September under Section 51A of UAPA in Baar Singh Pura village. A Red Corner Notice was issued against him and the Canadian authorities have put him on the ‘No-Fly list’.
His name incidentally figured in the list of Khalistani operatives that was handed over by Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, during the latter’s visit to India in 2018.
The arrest that took place from Senior Secondary School near railway crossing Mehna in Moga has also foiled a plan to kill another Dera follower who the duo had been targeting to take revenge in the Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege cases.
Three 0.32 bore pistols with 38 live cartridges and one 0.315 bore pistol with 10 live cartridges, along with two magazines, were seized from the suspects.
Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said that besides, Nijjar, three of their other KTF’s co-conspirators identified as Arshdeep, Ramandip and Charanjit are hiding out in Surrey (BC) Canada, while one, Kamaljeet Sharma is still absconding
He said while Arshdeep of Moga and Ramandeep of Ferozepur went to Canada legally in 2019 and 2017 respectively, Charanjit of Barnala, had gone there illegally in around 2013-14.
According to initial investigations, Gupta said Lovepreet and Kamaljeet were known to Arshdeep, as they all belonged to the same village, since childhood. Ram, who was a student at ITI Moga was known to Kamal since college days. All were sent money by Arshdeep, who wired it through Western Union money transfers.
On November 20 last year, Sonu and Kamal had killed Manohar Lal, a Dera follower at Bhagta Bhaika in Bathinda.
They were also involved in firing at a priest, Kamaldeep Sharma, in Bhar Singh Pura village in Phillaur (Jalandhar Rural) on January 31 this year. The priest, who was shot at thrice, was seriously injured along with a girl in the attack, allegedly carried out by the suspects on the directions of Nijjar.
Kamal and Ravi, along with Arshdeep (who had come to India at that time), were also linked to the the murder of their associate, Sukha Lamme, on June 27 last year.
They injected poison into Sukha at an abandoned house at Dala village and then, after burning his face, threw the body in Daudhar canal at Pul Madhoke.
Earlier, on June 25, Ravi, Kamal and Sukha had fired at Maan’s residence at e Lamma Jatt Pura village in Ludhiana (Rural).
A few days later, on July 14 last year Ravi and Kamal killed one Tejinder, a cloth shop owner, to terrorise the people of Moga city for exploit them subsequently for ransom. Ravi fired at Pinka and Kamal stood outside the shop, investigations have revealed. In the latest incident, on February 9 this year, Ravi and Sonu also attempted to kill owner of Sharma Sweets, Moga.
“International warrants will be obtained, and Red Corner Notices will be issued against the other radicals based in Canada. The government would also seek their deportation to India to face prosecution and criminal trial,” said Gupta.