Interrogation of Sikh militant leader Harminder Singh Mintoo has revealed that during his stay in Punjab’s Nabha Jail he frequently received funds through Hawala from England’s Lancaster, Canada and Germany to revive Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) in Punjab before the state’s upcoming assembly elections, police said.
Mintoo told interrogators that the funding was done on the instructions of Ranjeet Singh Neeta, chief of terrorist organisation Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF). A native of Jammu and Kashmir, Neeta is presently operating from Pakistan. His KZF has close links with Pakistan spy agency ISI, and is committed to joint action with Jammu and Kashmir terrorist groups, notably the Hizbul Mujahideen.
Another Sikh separatist group leader Harpreet Singh aka Happy is also based in Pakistan, and is working in close co-ordination with the ISI. Mintoo had met him in Malaysia in 2009 on directives of Neeta. Like Neeta, Mintoo received funds through the ISI’s Hawala network in India and other countries.
During the interrogation, a senior police officer said, Mintoo claimed that he was frequently having video chats with Neeta and Harpreet through Skype and WhatsApp from the prison. He was also using a cell phone in the jail to contact them and his other KLF’s members based in other countries such as Thiland, Malaysia, Germany.
According to Mintoo’s claims, the funding from Lancaster was done by Neeta’s close confidant, a former member of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) who is now associated with KZF. The police refused to disclose his name. They, however, said that Mintoo was introduced to the Lancaster resident in Malaysia in 2008 by Neeta.
One Baljinder whom Mintoo had met in Canada was the latter’s source of funding in Canada. Another BKI member, Jasvinder, was sending funds to Mintoo from Germany, said the officer.
Police said that the funds from the three countries were sent to a common contact in Khanna, a city in Ludhiana district in Punjab, through a famous money transfer service. This common contact that was introduced to all fund raisers by Jasvinder was taking help from Tejinder Sharma, owner of a sweetshop located just outside the Nabha jail, to send cash money and other communication gadgets to Mintoo in the jail, said police.
Mintoo (49) was arrested in Delhi on Monday after fleeing from a Punjab prison a day before. The central intelligence agencies and Delhi Police officials are interrogating Mintoo to bust the entire network between ISI, KLF and KZF, and to unearth the conspiracy that the Pakistani spy agency had been planning through Mintoo.