Mohali cabbie held for links with man who plotted to target former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal
Police on Tuesday arrested the main Punjab-based aide of German Singh, an alleged pro-Khalistani module member who was nabbed recently from Bikaner in Rajasthan for plotting to target Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal during his rallies in the state.
The accused has been identified as Ishwar Singh (22), an IT graduate from Balongi village in Mohali who works as a cab driver. The two are in touch for at least four years, the police said.
The police also recovered a rifle and three pistols that German (22), a resident of Uttar Pradesh, had dumped near the Bhakra canal at Bijalpur village at Samana subdivision of Patiala district before his arrest.
On October 17, he is believed to have visited the village where his maternal grandparents live.
On Tuesday, German was produced in a Patiala court which extended his police custody till October 28, while Ishwar was remanded till October 26.
Patiala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Mandeep Singh Sidhu said after fleeing from Uttar Pradesh German contacted Ishwar who provided him shelter in Punjab before he escaped to Rajasthan.
The SSP said during his interrogation German gave several misleading statements, including information about firearms and his other contacts in the state.
“During his remand, the investigators took him to UP and Rajasthan to recover the arms, but the information he had given was found to be misleading. The arms were finally recovered from near Bijalpur village. They would browse the web to learn how to operate different weapons,” SSP said.
CIA in-charge Shaminder Singh, who is leading the investigation, said the seized weapons are a .315 rifle, a .32 pistol and two .315 pistols.
“Two of the weapons were used by German and his three aides to snatch firearms from policemen at a checkpoint in UP on October 2,” he said.
‘Yet to validate UP cops’ claims’
The Punjab Police have not found any concrete evidence to validate their Uttar Pradesh counterparts’ claim that German had allegedly hatched a conspiracy to target Parkash Singh Badal.
“We are not ruling out the UP police’s claims but we are investigating the angle thoroughly before coming to any conclusion,” SSP Sidhu said.
He said the investigators have not yet been able to establish German’s link with any major terror organisation but they are probing all his contacts.
The UP Police had claimed to have unearthed the alleged plot by Khalistani elements to target Badal during the interrogation of three criminals arrested in Shamli on October 15.
Oct 7 rally venue wasn’t safe: SSP
SSP Sidhu claimed that the venue of SAD’s ‘jabar virdohi’ rally on October 7 was not fit from security point of view.
“Though the police had put up with three-tier security, but allowing people into secured ‘D’ area and restricting police to install metal detectors at entry points only were major security lapses on the part of the organisers,” he said.