Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 23
Punjab Police have arrested two activists of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), allegedly involved in several heinous crimes in the last one year, including the murder of a sect follower and firing on a priest.
The two were acting on the directions of KTF’s Canada-based chief, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, whose name incidentally figured in the list of Khalistani operatives that was handed over by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the latter’s visit to India in 2018.
With the arrest of Lovepreet Singh alias Ravi and Ram Singh alias Sonu, late on Saturday night from the rear side of Senior Secondary School near railway crossing Mehna, district Moga, the police also foiled a plan to kill another sect follower, who they were targeting to take revenge in the Sri 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.
Besides, Nijjar, three of their other KTF’s co-conspirators, identified as Arshdip, Ramandip and Charanjit alias Rinku Bihla, are hiding out in Surrey (BC) Canada, while one, Kamaljeet Sharma alias Kamal, is still absconding, DGP Dinkar Gupta disclosed on Sunday.
He said while Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh and Ramandeep Singh alias Raman Judge went to Canada legally in 2019 and 2017 respectively, Charanjit Singh alias Rinku Bihla had gone there illegally in around 2013-14.
According to initial investigations, which were led by SSP Moga Harmanbir Singh Gill, Gupta said Lovepreet alias Ravi and Kamaljeet Sharma alias Kamal were known to Arshdeep, as they all belonged to the same village, since childhood.
Ram Singh alias Sonu, who was a student at ITI Moga, were known to Kamal since college days. All were given money by Arshdeep, who sent it through Western Union money transfers.
On November 20 last year, Sonu and Kamal had killed Manohar Lal, a Dera premi, at Bhagta Bhaika in Bathinda district. Sonu fired three-four shots with pistols in both hands and Kamal also fired, said the DGP.
Sonu and Kamal 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 the directions of Nijjar.
In September 2020, Nijjar was designated a terrorist by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, and the NIA had also attached his properties in Bhar Singh Pura village under Section 51A of UAPA.
Kamal and Ravi were involved, along with Arshdeep (who had come to India at that time), in the murder of their associate, Sukha Lamme, on June 27, 2020.
They injected poison into Sukha at an abandoned house at village Dala 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 village Lamma Jatt Pura in Ludhiana district.
A few days later, on July 14, 2020, Ravi and Kamal killed Tejinder alias Pinka, owner of Super Shine Clothes, to terrorise the people of Moga city and 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.
The DGP said investigations were in progress to unravel further links of the accused and trace other previous crimes in which they might have been involved.
A hunt has been launched to arrest the absconding accused, Kamal.
He said while a Red Corner notice was issued against Nijjer, 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 against the other radicals based in Canada.
Gupta said the government would also seek their deportation to India to face prosecution and criminal trial.
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