The British High Commission on Thursday approached the city police on the arrest of UK-based non-resident Indian Jaswant Singh Azad, who was arrested by the city police on Monday for waging a war against state.
"One of the officials of the British High Commission called us to know the details of the case against Azad, his health and even expressed to have a word with him," additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) Diljinder Singh Dhillon said, adding that everything was explained to the UK official, but he was not allowed to talk to Azad, who is currently in police remand.
"The official expressed his desire to visit the city to meet Azad personally and permission was granted due to diplomatic protocol," the ADCP said, revealing that the city police itself informed the High Commission about the arrest of Azad, who is a permanent resident of Britain.
Wife of Azad and a UK resident Jasreigh Kaur had lodged a complaint with the British High Commission alleging that her husband was implicated in a "false case" of sedition by the city police and was being harassed in custody.
The ADCP said efforts were on to trace the source of large sum of money Azad got in his bank accounts and to whom he distributed the money, which was allegedly collected by hardliners Sikhs, settled in European countries.
"Recently, Azad built a new house worth Rs 60 lakh in his ancestral village Duhre and even fresh arrival of Rs 53 lakh was noticed in his accounts," the ADCP added.
He claimed that during his three consecutive visits to Punjab, Azad delivered lakhs of rupees to persons, especially belonging to the family of former terrorists, who were killed during militancy. "It is learnt that Azad is the key conduit to ignite sleeper cells of terrorism and to prepare them to accomplish the "tasks" of terrorist activities," he added.
The sleeper cells are mainly from border districts of the state and weapons were also smuggled to these cells, Dhillon revealed to HT, adding that they were in search of "soft targets", whose assassination would have been an intensive threat to the law and order of the state and revival of terrorism.
Azad was arrested by the city police and a case under Sections 121 (waging war against the state), 121-A (conspiracy to wage war against the state) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC, Section 25 of the Arms Act and under the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act, 1967, was registered against him.
Azad's arrest for waging a war against the state was second in a month in the district, as earlier on September 22, former terrorist and SGPC member Kulbir Singh Barapind was arrested by the district (rural) police from his native village in Goraya.