The interrogation of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) terrorist Ramandeep Singh (30) alias Sunny has revealed that he was befriended by KTF chief Jagtar Singh Tara through Facebook with a fake identity.
Sources said Tara, a fugitive in the 1995 assassination case of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, had contacted Sunny through the social networking site under the fake name of Harman Singh in January. With Sunny showing a leaning towards religious radicalism, Tara send him a friend request, which was accepted. Tara then contacted Sunny on his mobile phone as his number was mentioned on his Facebook profile page.
The police said Bathinda resident Sunny, who was arrested on Sunday, was employed at a motor parts shop of his relative. A local court remanded him in three-day police custody on Monday.
Sources added: “Tara did not reveal his real identity to Sunny. He asked Sunny to come to Thailand and send him Rs 8,400 to procure a passport. On April 25, Sunny went to Bangkok and was received by Tara. There he stayed in a hotel near the airport and came back to India on May 22.” After he came back, Rs 24,000 were transferred in Sunny’s bank account, with which he had bought a mobile phone worth Rs 18,000.
“Before Sunny’s visa expired, Tara helped him enter Malaysia and came back to increase the duration of his stay in Bangkok. During the major period of his stay, he was taken on a tour of religious places, but in the last five days, he was provided training to smuggle weapons and manufacture bombs,” the sources said.
Sunny wasn’t told about Tara’s real identity during the interrogation. Afterwards, a police team here showed him Tara’s photographs, which were recognised by him. Tara, with the help of agents of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), had also planned to take Sunny to the neighbouring country for further training, but couldn’t do it due to unspecified reasons.
Bathinda SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said money was transferred into Sunny’s bank accounts from Lebanon and other Middle East countries.