While Lovepreet and Ram Singh have been arrested, their aide Kamaljeet is absconding.
While Lovepreet and Ram Singh have been arrested, their aide Kamaljeet is absconding.

Two Khalistan Tiger Force activists nabbed for dera follower’s murder

Were also involved in firing on priest in Phillaur in January this year on KTF chief Nijjar’s directions
By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON MAY 24, 2021 05:02 AM IST

Punjab Police have arrested two activists of the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), allegedly involved in the murder of a Dera Sacha Sauda follower and other heinous crimes, from near a railway crossing in Mehna village of Moga on Saturday night.

The two were acting on the directions of KTF’s Canada-based chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, whose name figured in the list of Khalistani operatives handed over by chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the latter’s visit to India in 2018.

Those arrested have been identified as Lovepreet Singh, alias Ravi, and Ram Singh, alias Sonu. Police said with the arrests, they have foiled KTF activists’ plan to kill another dera follower, who they were targeting to take revenge for the sacrilege cases.

Three 0.32 bore pistols with 38 live cartridges, one 0.315 bore pistol with 10 live cartridges and two magazines, were seized from the suspects, said the police.

Director general of Police Dinkar Gupta said that Nijjar, three other conspirators, identified as Arshdeep Singh, alias Arsh, of Dalla village in Moga, Ramandeep, alias Raman Judge, of Ferozepur and Charanjit, alias Rinku Bihla, of Barnala are hiding in Surrey, Canada, while one Kamaljeet Sharma, alias Kamal, is still absconding.

He said while Arshdeep and Ramandeep went to Canada legally in 2019 and 2017, Rinku Bihla migrated to Canada illegally between 2013 and 14.

According to initial investigations, which were led by Moga senior superintendent of police Harmanbir Singh Gill, the DGP said Lovepreet and Kamaljeet were known to Arshdeep, as they all belonged to the same village. Ram Singh, a student at ITI Moga, was known to Kamal since college days. All were given money by Arshdeep, who sent it through Western Union money transfers.

On November 20 last year, Sonu and Kamal killed Manohar Lal, a dera follower, at Bhagta Bhaika in Bathinda, said the DGP.

Sonu and Kamal were also involved in firing at a priest, Kamaldeep Sharma, in Bhar Singh Pura village in Phillaur on January 31 this year. The priest, who was shot at thrice, was seriously injured along with a girl in the attack, allegedly carried out by the suspects on the directions of Nijjar, said the DGP.

In September 2020, Nijjar was designated a terrorist by the Union ministry of home affairs and the NIA had also attached his properties in Bhar Singh Pura village.

Kamal and Ravi, along with Arshdeep (who had come to India at that time), were involved in the murder of their associate, Sukha Lamme, on June 27, 2020. On July 14, 2020, Ravi and Kamal killed Tejinder, owner of cloth store, to terrorise the people of Moga city. In the latest incident on February 9, the duo attempted to kill owner a sweets shop in Moga.

The DGP said investigations were in progress to trace their involvement in other crimes. A hunt has been launched to arrest Kamal. He said a Red Corner Notice was issued against Nijjer, who has also been put on the “No Fly List” by the Canadian authorities. He added that the state government would also seek their deportation to India to face trial.

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