Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 25
The searches conducted by West Midlands counter terrorism unit on the premises of Sikh activists in the UK last week was apparently an outcome of the “sharing of information between the governments of India and the UK”, describing the links of some Sikhs there with terror modules busted in India in the last two years.
Last Tuesday, the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (Special Branch) is learnt to have conducted searches on the premises of five Sikh leaders, including Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwal and his brother, in Coventry, Leicester and Birmingham. Gursharanbir has been chargesheeted by the NIA in all five cases related to targeted killings of Hindu leaders and a Christian pastor in 2016 and 2017.
Indian intelligence agencies also suspect “ties” between some of the activists, whose premises were searched last week, and the attackers of Lt Gen KS Brar (retired) in London in 2012, all of who were sentenced by the UK courts later. The details of investigation in the targeted killings, in which Scottish national Jagtar Singh Johal was arrested in November last year, were shared by the Indian authorities with their counterparts in the UK through diplomatic channels.
Intelligence sources told The Tribune that “footprints” of Gursharanbir had also been shared with the UK authorities to “build a case against him for participating and promoting terror activities in India”.
“These include his arrival at the Mumbai airport allegedly on his brother’s passport in 2009, just before the assassination of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat chief Rulda Singh in Patiala, and his presence in Dubai in March 2015, where he is accused of training sharpshooter Ramandeep Singh alias Canadian and Hardeep Singh Shera in the basement of a mall,” said a senior officer.
The sources said they had also shared details of how their investigation linked Harmeet Singh alias Happy alias PHD with the targeted killings. “He was studying in Amritsar and after his radicalisation, he moved to Pakistan. He is said to be among the main conspirators of the targeted killings along with Gursharanbir Singh. We have received names of five Sikhs whose premises were searched in the UK and some computers and other material seized from there. Further investigation is on and we are hopeful of a strict action against them for promoting terror activities,” said the officer.
Protest on sept 30
Chandigarh: The Federation of Sikh Organisations will protest outside the venue of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on September 30 against the detention of Jagtar Singh Johal. Gurjeet Singh, national press secretary, Sikh Federation (UK), said the protest would also highlight how the UK authorities “bowed to pressure from India” and conducted police raids targeting activists campaigning for Johal’s release. TNS
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday obtained non-bailable arrest warrants of four persons accused of targeted killings — UK resident Gursharanbir Singh; Harmeet Singh Happy alias PHD (suspected to be in Pakistan); Australia-based Gurjant Singh, accused of transferring funds for the killings; and Gurjinder, a resident of Italy. The warrants are issued for October 9. The quartet is on the run.
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