CHANDIGARH: Two operatives of radical Khalistan Tiger Force, also involved in several heinous crimes, including murder, have been arrested, the Punjab police said on Sunday.
Working on instructions of outfit's Canada-based chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the two KTF operatives, Lovepreet Singh alias Ravi and Ram Singh alias Sonu, were also involved in killing a Dera follower and firing at and critically injuring a priest in January this year, the police added.
The two were arrested on Saturday night from behind a senior secondary school near the Mehna railway crossing in Moga district and were found in the possession of four pistols and 48 rounds of live cartridges, besides two magazines, police said.
With their arrest, their plan to kill a Dera follower, who they had been targeting on Nijjar's instructions for his alleged involvement in the 2015 sacrilege case of the Guru Granth Sahib, police said.
Nijjar's name had figured in the list of Khalistani operatives handed over by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the latter's visit to India in 2018, said Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta.
Besides Nijjar, three of their other KTF's co-conspirators, identified as Arshdip, Ramandip and Charanjit, are hiding in Surrey in Canada while yet another operative Kamaljeet Sharma alias Kamal, is still absconding, he added in an official statement.
Arshdip and Ramandeep went to Canada in 2019 and 2017 respectively while Charanjit had gone there illegally in 2013-14, he said.
Gupta said Lovepreet and Kamaljeet were known to Arshdip.
Ram Singh was also known to Kamaljeet.
All were given money by Arshdip, who sent it through Western Union money transfers.
In November last year, Ram and Kamaljeet had allegedly killed Manohar Lal, a Dera follower, at Bhagta Bhaika in Bathinda, the police said.
Both were also involved in firing at a priest, Kamaldeep Sharma, in village Bhar Singh Pura 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 Nijjar's directions, the police said.
Nijjar was designated a terrorist by the Union Home Ministry in September 2020 and the NIA had also attached his properties in Bhar Singh Pura village in Jalandhar.
Police said Lovepreet and Kamaljeet were also involved in the murder of their associate Sukha Lamme in June 2020.
The DGP said a hunt has been launched to arrest the absconding accused, Kamaljeet.
He said a Red Corner notice was issued against Nijjar, who has also been put on the 'No Fly List' by the Canadian authorities, sometime back.
International warrants will be obtained and Red Corner Notices will be issued also against other radicals based in Canada, Gupta said, adding the government would also seek their deportation to India to face prosecution.