A court in Thailand on Tuesday ordered to hand over to India Jagtar Singh alias Tara, one of the alleged assassins of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, who was arrested on Monday by the police there on a tip-off by the Punjab police, it is
Thai police officers escort wanted militant Jagtar Singh Tara, who was living on a fake identity and was arrested on Monday, to the criminal court in Bangkok on Tuesday.
As first reported by HT — ‘Beant assassin Tara arrested in Thailand’, January 6 — the Thai police after nabbing the fugitive produced him before a court on Tuesday which ordered to extradite him, according to the information the Punjab police received.
But Tara, 40, will be formally handed over to India after a month of the court order as per Thai law; during that period he will be in the custody of the police there.
It was almost 11 years after making a sensational escape on January 22, 2004, from the high-security Burail Jail in Chandigarh by digging a 75-ft-long tunnel that Tara is again behind bars. Punjab police sources said that after they got information that Tara was living in Thailand under a fake identity and on a Pakistan passport as ‘Gurmeet Singh, son of Kaka Singh’, five arrest warrants against him issued by different Indian courts were handed over to Thai authorities through Interpol in September last year. Besides, a red corner notice was also issued, secretly.
On the basis of the warrants of Indian courts, the Thai police had in advance sought arrest warrants of Tara from their court. “Even an amended, secret red corner notice was issued through the Interpol when Punjab police specifically mentioned about the fake identity that Tara was using in his Pakistan passport while hiding in Thailand,” a top police source said.
It was in a joint operation followed by pinpointed information which Punjab police gave that central Indian agencies and Thai police arrested the separatist group Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief from the house of a man named Khalat Bari, who had been sheltering him allegedly at the behest of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), officials said.
PUNJAB TEAM CAMPED
A Punjab police team had gone to Thailand last year and camped there after getting a tip-off about Tara. He went underground and was since hiding in the house of Khalat Bari, said to be the brother of Pakistan-based ISI agent Sultan Bari.
The hunt for Tara, however, led the Punjab police to three other wanted terrorists — chief of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) Harminder Singh alias Mintoo and his key aide Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi, arrested from Thailand, and Ramandeep Singh alias Goldy, key operative of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), from Malaysia.