Pro-Khalistan terrorist linked to Punjab RPG attack dies in Pakistan
A member of the pro-Khalistan Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terror group, Rinda played a key role in helping Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) smuggle drugs and weapons into Punjab from across the border
Gangster-turned-terrorist Harvinder Singh Sandhu, alias Rinda, who has been named in at least 10 terror-related cases in Punjab, has died in a hospital in Pakistan’s Lahore, senior state police and intelligence officials said on Saturday.
A member of the pro-Khalistan Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terror group, Rinda played a key role in helping Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) smuggle drugs and weapons into Punjab from across the border, a senior Punjab Police officer said. He was also named as the mastermind in the RPG attack on Punjab Police’s intelligence headquarters in Mohali in May.
“Though the exact reason behind his death is not known yet, the information we are getting from the central agencies is that Rinda, a heroin addict, was undergoing treatment for drug-overdose at a hospital,” the top state police official said on condition of anonymity, terming Rinda’s death as a “huge relief” for Punjab.
A senior intelligence official said ISI’s hand in Rinda’s death could not be ruled out.
“He died on Friday. ISI could also be behind his death as in recent times he was not sharing a cordial relationship with BKI’s head Wadawa Singh Babbar,” the official said speaking on condition of anonymity.
A resident of Amritsar’s Tarn Taran district, Rinda’s was first arrested in 2008 after a scuffle during a family feud, officials said. After getting in touch with criminals during his time in prison, Rinda shifted his base to Maharashtra’s Nanded. He moved to Pakistan in 2020 using fake passports after getting in touch with pro-Khalistan terror groups where he was provided security cover, a second intelligence official said.
“After another face of Khalistani terrorism enjoying, Harmeet Singh PhD, was killed near Lahore in 2020, there were inputs that the ISI was using Rinda to the fulfil its goals. Rinda has strong and old contacts in Punjab and had become Pakistan’s key hand for Punjab plans,” the second official said.