NIA court refuses to discharge ‘ex-RAW agent’ booked for trying to revive Khalistan movement
The accused had entered into a criminal conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and had been making attempts to revive Sikh militancy, according to the NIA.
A special court designated under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday rejected the discharge petition of a man who was booked along with others for trying to revive militancy in Punjab for a Sikh separatist state of ‘Khalistan’.
The accused, Mohiuddin Siddiqui, claimed to be a former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) operative and allegedly provided ammunition and international SIM cards to two convicted accused Harpal Singh and Gurjeet Singh Nijjar, who were awarded a year jail term.
“It is necessary to scrutinise the charge sheet as to whether there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused or not. The most important aspect is also that the accused Harpal Singh and Gurjeet Singh Nijjar have pleaded guilty and have been convicted by this court. It means it is sufficient to believe the accusation against the accused is prima facie true. The present application is devoid of merit and needs to be rejected,” said special judge AM Patil while rejecting the discharge application.
The court noted that the central agency had found evidence against the applicant (Siddiqui) based on the data extracted from his mobile phones.
During the investigation by the NIA, it was established that accused Harpal Singh, Mohiuddin Siddiqui and Gurjeet Singh Nijjar had entered into a criminal conspiracy to commit terrorist acts for the formation of a separate ‘Khalistan state’ and thereby threatened the security, integrity and sovereignty of India and have been making attempt to revive Sikh militancy, the NIA said.
They used to post videos and images of Operation Blue Star of 1984. They also posted photos containing praise of militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Jagtar Singh Hawara, who was convicted in the assassination of Beant Singh, the former chief minister of Punjab.
It is alleged that Siddique was in contact with Jagtar Singh Hawara. It is further alleged that the applicant had procured international SIM cards and ₹30,000 at the direction of prime accused Nijjar.
Siddique vehemently argued that in September 2018, a terror fund of ₹50 crores sent through hawala means had been traced, however, the recovery was never shown. The applicant further submitted that when he questioned his superiors, he was asked to remain silent. However, he claimed that he chose to inform the concerned authorities about his seniors’ behaviour, and hence, he argued that the corrupted superiors had hatched a conspiracy against him and misled the Punjab and Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
He also submitted that on December 6, 2018, he was working on a secret mission in accordance with the Indian government when his “corrupted” superiors suddenly apprehended him in this case. “No specific terrorist activity has been disclosed in the NIA chargesheet and no firearm, explosive or any other illegal material has to be recovered from me,” he added.
Special public prosecutor argued that during the investigation, it was revealed that in pursuance of the conspiracy of separate Khalistan, these accused procured a pistol, ammunition and money in October 2018 from the applicant. He further reiterated on the seriousness of the crime and hence, prayed for the rejection of the application.
Siddique further claimed that the agency had threatened the witnesses to give false statements and that the agency had solely relied on chats, calls and social media posts but had failed to collect GPRS data of mobile numbers from the concerned telecom companies, and hence, prayed to be discharged from the case.