Pak spy agency ISI trained Khalistani terrorists in Thailand

  • Pawan Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Feb 06, 2015 08:36 IST

Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), trained Khalistan terrorists from the United Kingdom (UK) in Thailand last year to launch strikes in India, according to top Punjab police officers who along with sleuths of central security agencies interrogated two such terrorists nabbed recently in Thailand.

The security agencies in tandem with Punjab police had achieved a major success by nabbing in Thailand Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh, alias Mintoo, in November 2014, and Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief Jagtar Singh, alias Tara, one of the alleged assassins of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, on January 5.

A Lahore-posted Lt Colonel-rank army officer of the ISI, identified as “Chaudhary” by Indian spy agencies, was the handler of Mintoo and Tara. He shifted Mintoo and Tara separately from Pakistan to Thailand last year to “develop sleeper cells in India”.

Training camps

This ISI officer later held a camp from July 5 to 13, 2014 at Mea-Sot— a town in Thailand bordering Myanmar — in which “five UK-based Khalistan terrorists” were trained in assembling and handling of explosives made from locally available material, top ranking Punjab police sources said.

“Necessary follow-up actions (regarding ISI training UK-based Khalistan terrorists in Thailand) are being taken,” said Gaurav Yadav, inspector general, counter-intelligence, Punjab police.

Based on the interrogation reports of the two arrested men that the state police and central agencies are collating, it has emerged that Gursharanvir Singh (living in Coventry of England) and Birmingham resident Piyara Singh Gill, also wanted by Punjab police in August 2009 killing on Rulda Singh, president of RSS wing Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, were among the five UK-based Khalistan terrorists who attended the training camp in Thailand. Central agencies have already approached UK authorities for their extradition.

Those who took part in the camp included Amrit Pal Singh of Coventry, besides two others, identified as “Pehalwan of Coventry and Jagga of Birmingham”. KLF chief Mintoo, sources said, told his interrogators that he was present in the camp and had contacted Gursharanvir to bring others to Thailand for “indoctrination”.

A Pak national of Myanmar origin gave training in preparing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), sources told HT. The sleuths are developing further leads on the basis of travel details of the ultras to Thailand and the ISI officer visiting a shopping mall, Big-C, at Faltu in Bangkok in May 2014.

From Bathinda too

It is further learnt that the ISI held another training session in which Bathinda resident Ramandeep Singh alias Sunny had participated. Sunny was arrested last November after he returned from Thailand. During interrogation, he purportedly revealed that he was befriended by KTF chief Tara through Facebook with a fake identity. As Sunny was active on Facebook and showing a leaning towards religious radicalism, Tara had trapped him.

His indoctrination by the ISI took place May 26, 2014, onwards at Ali Shah hotel in Bangkok, while his handler/trainer was Adnan Ali, a Pak national who travelled to Thailand on Pakistan passport (SW1798142), sources said. Ali’s Pak identity, sources said, was ‘33203-7867814-1’ and he stayed in Nasa Vegas hotel of Bangkok.

“The ISI shifted its training base out of Pakistan to Thailand to dodge Indian agencies from keeping track of those (Khalistan terrorists) being given arms and explosives training in Pakistan. Besides, by bringing UK-based terrorists to Thailand, another objective was to avoid Pakistan entry on travel documents,” sources said.

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