Bhinderwale associate belonging to Khalistan Commando Force member held in Delhi, say police
According to police, the arrested man, Gursewak Singh Babla, was planning to re-constitute the organisation on the instructions of KCF’s current chief Paramjeet Singh Panjwar, who is based in Pakistan.Updated: Mar 14, 2019 09:23 IST
A 53-year-old member of banned terrorist group, Khalistan Commando Force (KCF), was arrested from Delhi, police said on Wednesday. Police said the man was once a key associate of separatist militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was killed in an encounter by the security forces in 1984 during Operation Blue Star.
According to police, the arrested man, Gursewak Singh Babla, was planning to re-constitute the organisation on the instructions of KCF’s current chief Paramjeet Singh Panjwar, who is based in Pakistan. Babla was also in touch with Jagtaar Singh Hawara and other alleged militants lodged in different jails in India, police said. Babla had spent around 26 years in prison until 2010. After coming out of jail, the man was arrested thrice by Ludhiana police in 2014, 2015 and 2016 for robberies.
Additional deputy commissioner of police (crime) Ajit Kumar Singla said that Babla was caught on Tuesday from outside the Kashmere Gate interstate bus terminal when he reached there to meet his associate.
Babla was previously involved in more than 50 cases of terrorist activities, murders of police officials and informers, robberies in banks and police stations, among others, said deputy commissioner of police (crime) Bhisham Singh.
“He remained in jail for more than 26 years in different cases and was in regular touch with some Pakistan-based terrorists. Non-bailable warrants for his arrest were issued by the Patiala House court in two cases in which he was evading trial,” DCP Singh said.
Babla was born in a farmer family residing in Raikot village in Punjab’s Ludhiana district. His elder brother Swaran Singh was a member of terrorist group led by Bhindranwale in Punjab in 1980s. Babla also joined the group in 1982, police said.
In 1984, DCP Singh said, when Bindranwale was killed, most of his associates fled to Pakistan where they were trained and supported by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). During that time, Babla joined the newly formed KCF constituted by terrorist Manveer Singh Chehdu and actively participated in anti-national activities.
In May 1984, Babla with his associates, Labh Singh, Gurinder Singh and Swaranjit Singh had also killed group editor of a newspaper in Jalandhar. In 1986, he, along with his associates, attacked the residence of Julio Riberio, Ex-DGP Punjab, in Jalandhar. In the same year, they killed eight police personnel of Punjab Police while freeing the KCF chief Jarnal Labh Singh and terrorists Gurinder Pal Singh Bhola and Swaranjit Singh from police custody in court complex in Jalandhar after a shootout, said DCP Singh.
“They had also attacked a police station in Punjab and robbed 16 rifles, six carbines, cartridges, two revolvers, a police jeep and a Fiat car. Babla was arrested and sent to Tihar jail, where he remained in high risk ward for 18 years. While at Tihar Jail, he planned to smuggle arms including AK-47 and explosives from Pakistan to carry out an attack in Delhi. However, this conspiracy was foiled by the Delhi Police, which arrested two terrorists from Punjabi Bagh on July 9, 1998,” the officer said.
First Published: Mar 14, 2019 09:23 IST