After remaining in detention for nearly two months, Khalistani militant Paramjit Singh Pamma, 42, walks free again as the Portugal government has turned down India’s plea to extradite him.
The Portugal police had nabbed Pamma, a key conspirator of the 2010 high-velocity twin bomb blasts in Patiala and Ambala and the mastermind of the 2009 killing of Rulda Singh, head of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, a wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), according to Punjab Police sources.
Rulda Singh was shot at on July 28, 2009, in Patiala and succumbed to his injuries on August 15, 2009.
Before his arrest by the Portugal police on December 18, 2015, Pamma was living in the UK after being granted political asylum in 2000.
Pamma, along with his family, was staying at a hotel in Portugal, when he was detained. He already had an Interpol Red Corner notice against him that helped nab the fugitive.
Pamma became the lynchpin of terrorist-related activities in Thailand and provided infrastructural support in South-East Asia to Punjab terrorists.
According to police records, the SAS Nagar district resident Pamma was allegedly involved in petty crimes until 1992. After leaving India in 1994-95 he visited Pakistan on numerous occasions and became the main fundraiser of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).
Initially, he was close to Wadhawa Singh. Later, Pamma joined hands with Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief Jagtar Singh Tara, the dreaded Pakistan-based terrorist and one of the assassins of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.
“After the arrest of Tara in Thailand in January, Pamma was trying to become the KTF chief as he was the main organiser of the KTF activities,” police sources said.
The Patiala and Ambala bomb explosions were masterminded by Pamma and Goldy, the latter also wanted in Rulda Singh’s killing and already arrested from Malaysia.
Earlier, on the Indian government’s plea, Pamma was detained by the UK authorities in 2010 in the Rulda Singh case.
A team of the British police had visited Patiala in 2011 and quizzed Jagmohan Singh and Darshan Singh, both accused in the case. However, the British police later set Pamma free as they found nothing concrete in the charges against him.
Portugal and India had signed an extradition treaty in 2007, a year after the extradition of gangster Abu Salem and Bollywood actress Monica Bedi.