Extradited from Thailand, militant Jagtar Singh Tara was on Saturday remanded in five-day police custody here in connection with the 2009 murder of the leader of a Sikh outfit affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
Tara, who became self-styled chief of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) after parting ways with the Babbar Khalsa, was brought to Patiala in the wee hours after his extradition from the South East Asian country and handing over to Punjab Police in New Delhi.
Amid tight security, the militant sentenced to life imprisonment for assassinating chief minister Beant Singh in 1995 was produced before duty magistrate Jagmeet Singh in the murder case of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat chief Rulda Singh, whom Babbar Khalsa militants had shot at in Patiala on July 28, 2009, which had led to his death on August 15 that year in Chandigarh.
In this case registered at Tripuri here, Punjab Police have asked for two weeks to interrogate Tara, to dig out his links with foreign terrorist organisations and Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI); his sources of funding; and the people whom he sent money to in India. The prosecution has stated that he gave arms training to Rulda Singh’s killers. Tara is alleged main conspirator. The police also want to know how he had managed to flee India after jailbreak and stay abroad for so long.
Tara’s counsel, Barjinder Singh Sodhi, opposed the police demand, saying that they were trying to make it a high-profile case by suggesting that his client had links with the ISI and had given arms training to militants in Pakistan. He said 46 witnesses had deposed already in the Rulda Singh murder case but none had named Tara. Following the argument, the court gave the police only five days to question Tara. Before the murder of Rulda Singh, head of the Sikh wing of Hindu radical organisation RSS, Tara had tunnelled his way out of the high-security Burail prison in Chandigarh in 2004 and was on the run since.