Lowdown on terror suspects

Akashdeep wanted to join armed forces, but landed in world of crime

He took up various jobs, but failed to achieve success | Faced financial hardships

The recent arrests of state residents and seizure of IEDs from them in Tarn Taran and Karnal, Haryana, have the security agencies worried. The Tribune team meets the families of the suspects, who apparently have no political affiliations, to find out what made them go astray 

Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, May 11

Akashdeep, 23 was just another boy next door with ambitions but as the luck would have it, he got trapped in the world of crime unmindful of the consequences it will entail.

Akashdeep of Peerke village was arrested by the Ferozepur police on May 6, a day after four terror suspects were nabbed by the Haryana Police in Karnal. He used to allegedly deliver arms consignments — sent by Pakistan-based terrorist Harwinder Singh, alias Rinda — dropped through drone in his grandmother’s fields along the border at various places. He is in police remand at present.

After completing his schooling, Akashdeep joined Guru Nanak ITI and started working in the Military Dairy Farm in the cantonment here. His father Vijay Doria has also been working in the dairy farm for over two decades but after its closure, he started working in a rice sheller. Vijay along with his wife Kinder and three daughters has been staying in a small house in Peerke village on the outskirts of the town. Kinder works as a domestic help to make ends meet.

After working in the dairy farm, Akashdeep wanted to join the Army. He started working on his fitness and participated in a recruitment rally but could not clear the medical test. Thereafter, like lakhs of other youths, he went to Malaysia in search of greener pastures, for which his parents paid Rs 2 lakh to the agent. However, due to the lockdown, he returned and started working as an electrician. Soon after, he started working as a taxi driver when he met another accused Amandeep Singh from Vinjoke village (Zira).

How he got in touch with Amandeep is not clear to the family, but they admit that the latter used to come to their house to take Akashdeep out for some work. “We had absolutely no idea what they were up to and how Akashdeep fell into the trap,” Vijay said, adding that he had been facing financial hardships.

Meanwhile, Kinder said she used to send Akashdeep to take care of her mother Swaran Kaur, who owned around 2.5 acre in Nihala Lavera village situated near the India-Pakistan border. Sources, however, said Akashdeep was apparently lured into the nefarious activities to capitalise on the fact that his maternal grandmother had a piece of land close to the border, which they could use to smuggle explosives received through drone to other places.

Though Akashdeep’s parents have a different version of the story to narrate, the security agencies claim to have clues on his involvement. “All mobile phones, passbooks and laptops have been taken away by the police. We are not even allowed to meet him,” Vijay said, reiterating that his son was innocent.

2 pistols seized, 1 booked in Ferozepur

On the basis of interrogation of Akashdeep, the Ferozepur police have recovered two pistols (9 mm) along with 78 live cartridges (9 mm), besides a laptop from the residence of Sukhbir Singh, alias Jashan, on Wednesday.

Tribune Shorts


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