Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s journey from a plumber to designated terrorist - Hindustan Times
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Slain pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s journey from a plumber to designated terrorist

By, Chandigarh
Jun 20, 2023 04:43 AM IST

Hailing from Bharsingh Pura village in Phillaur area of Jalandhar, Nijjar, as per Punjab Police dossiers, had moved to Canada in 1996.

From a plumber in Canada’s Surrey to a self-styled Khalistan ideologue, Hardeep Singh Nijjar had over the years emerged as the backbone of secessionist, terror and anti-India activities being unleased by groups sitting abroad.

Self-styled Khalistan ideologue Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead in Canada’s Surrey. (HT File)
Self-styled Khalistan ideologue Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead in Canada’s Surrey. (HT File)

Hailing from Bharsingh Pura village in Phillaur area of Jalandhar, Nijjar, as per Punjab Police dossiers, had moved to Canada in 1996 and started working as plumber for sustenance. Over the past few years, however, his wealth saw a sudden rise, owing to his involvement in pro-Khalistan activities, which subsequently became his sole “business”.

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Initiation into terror groups

His tryst with terrorist activities began when he joined the Babbar Khalsa International headed by Jagtar Singh Tara. But later, he formed his own organisation Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF).

Punjab police officials, closely following his activities, say Nijjar was actively involved in spotting, networking, training and financing Khalistani modules in India and was facing more than 10 FIRs.

In 2014, he orchestrated the killing of self-styled godman Baba Bhaniara by roping in Parminder Kala. In 2015, he organised a training camp in Canada to train one Mandeep Singh Dhaliwal, who was later sent to

Punjab to target Shiv Sena leaders. Mandeep was arrested in June 2016.

In November 2020, he joined hands with another gangster Arsh Dalla, who was also settled abroad, and later got involved in killing one Manohar Lal, a follower of the Dera Sacha Sauda. Lal was killed at his office in Bhagta Bhai Ka of Bathinda in 2021.

“Nijjar also tried to kill a Hindu priest, Pragya Gyan Muni, who had settled at his native village, dominated by Sikhs, in January 2021, but the priest had somehow survived,” said a senior official.

Nijjar also attempted to kill Shakti Singh, a Dera follower accused of sacrilege.

Recruited local youths on promise of sending them abroad

After joining hands with Dalla, Nijjar pushed tiffin and hand grenades, besides other ammunition to India. The duo used to recruit local youths and small-time criminals by alluring them with foreign dreams.

In February 2022, Sonepat Police had caught three persons with ammunition that was sent by Nijjar.

Nijjar has been associated with the separatist organisation, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), which is banned in India and was working as ‘Number 2’ after Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Special DGP, internal security, RN Dhoke said a Red Corner Notice was issued against Nijjar and on July 1, 2020, the Ministry of home affairs designated him as terrorist.

Last year, the Punjab Police had sought the extradition of Nijjar as he was wanted in cases related to acts of reviving terrorism in the state.

He was involved in giving inflammatory and hateful speeches through social media platforms.

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