Shaurya Chakra awardee’s murder: NIA files charge-sheet against 8 KLF terrorists
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday filed a charge-sheet against eight men connected to Pakistan-based proscribed terrorist organisation, Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), for the murder of Shaurya Chakra awardee comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu on October 16, 2020. Sandhu, who was conferred with the bravery award for fighting against terrorism in Punjab, was gunned down by two bike-borne men at his home in Bhikhiwind town of Tarn Taran district.
The NIA had taken over investigation from the state police in January this year. NIA officials said Sandhu was killed to terrorise Indians, especially those who are opposed to the Khalistani ideology. The accused are Sukhmeet Pal Singh, alias Sukh, alias Bhikhariwal; Sukhraj Singh, alias Lakhanpal; Sukhdeep Singh, alias Bhura; Gurjit Singh, alias Bha, of Gurdaspur district; Ravinder Singh, alias Ravi Dhillon; Akashdeep Arora, alias Dhaliwal; Jagroop Singh of Ludhiana, and Inderjit Singh alias Inder, of Tarn Taran.
The charge-sheet was filed in the NIA Special Court, Mohali, under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 212 (harbouring offender) and 302 (murder) of the IPC and Sections 25 (1B) and 27 of the Arms Act, and Sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
NIA officials said the transnational conspiracy was hatched by Pakistan-based self-styled chief of KLF Lakhvir Singh Rode and top foreign based KLF terrorists who provided arms, ammunition and funds to the accused.
WELL-OILED NEXUS, SAYS AGENCY
“A well-oiled terrorist-narcotics-criminal nexus, wherein narcotic drugs and weapons were smuggled by Pakistan-pbased entities from across the International Border in Punjab for generation of funds for executing terrorist acts has also been unearthed,” the officials claimed.
They added investigation had established that the foreign-based KLF leadership had recruited, financed and armed gangster Bhikhariwal and tasked him to execute the killing through his associates.
After the killing of Harmeet Singh alias Happy PHD, the operational chief of the KLF in Pakistan, in January 2020, Bhikhariwal was directed by Rode and other KLF operatives through encrypted communication platforms to kill Sandhu.
The reconnaissance of the target was carried by charge-sheeted accused Inderjeet Singh, while sharp-shooters Gurjit Bha and Sukhdeep Bhura were recruited for killing Sandhu. The other chargesheeted accused are associates of Sukh Bhikhariwal who were instrumental in organising logistics and shelter to the shooters, said officials.
Bhikhariwal was deported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by the Delhi police in December 2020 in pursuance of a case in which Gurjit Bha and Sukhdeep Bhura were arrested with their three Kashmiri accomplices for attacking a police party. Bhikhariwal was also wanted by the Punjab Police in around a dozen criminal cases, including the Nabha jail break on November 2016.