Amritsar, December 5
Pakistan-based self-styled chief of the banned outfits Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) and International Sikh Youth Federation, Lakhbir Singh Rode, 72, has reportedly died in Pakistan following cardiac arrest.
A nephew of slain Damdami Taksal head Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Lakhbir was listed as an ‘individual terrorist’ under the UAPA. He was accused in the 1985 bombing of the Air India jet Kanishka.
A native of Rode village in Moga, Lakhbir had initially fled to Dubai, but later moved to Pakistan. However, his family had stayed in Canada.
In 2002, India had submitted a list of 20 terrorists demanding their extradition from Pakistan.
The National Investigation Agency has also declared him as the mastermind behind the 2021 Ludhiana court complex blast. He was charged with smuggling Improvised Explosive Devices into India from Pakistan for triggering explosions across Punjab.
Lakhbir’s brother and former Akal Takht jathedar Jasbir Singh Rode confirmed the development to The Tribune.
“We have been informed by his (Lakhbir's) son, who lives in Canada, that his father died of a heart attack in Pakistan on December 2. He must have been cremated over there. We have no confirmation about it."
He said his brother was not keeping well for the past fortnight.
“He was diabetic and had recently undergone a bypass surgery," Jasbir said.
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