No evidence has been found to prove that then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s assassin Jagtar Singh Tara has entered Thailand, the country’s army chief has said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, however, said he did not know if the suspect was on Thai soil, adding that he would wait for police reports on the subject.
Army chief Udomdej Sitabutr said he had assigned authorities to closely monitor and strengthen safety measures in the southern border provinces, including an increase in the screening and searching of people and vehicles entering and leaving the country.
The investigations into Tara’s whereabouts found no evidence that he had entered Thailand, Sitabutr was quoted as saying by the Nation.
The army chief was responding to reports that Tara, convicted and sentenced for the 1995 assassination of Beant Singh, may be taking refuge in Thailand.
Tara, along with Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjit Singh Bheora, had escaped from Burail jail in Chandigarh in 2004. Hawara and Bheora were later re-arrested.
Thai security officials gave conflicting information on Tuesday about Tara’s whereabouts. Acting immigration chief Sakda Chuenpakdee said the fugitive may be hiding in the country.
“Tara entered Thailand at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in September on a tourist visa,” he said, adding that according to his arrival card, he is in Thailand for tourism purposes.
The police said they had already visited his accommodation in Lat Krabang area, but could not find him.
Photographs of the fugitive have been distributed among border authorities and posted at border checkpoints, Sakda said.