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NIA, Punjab to make fresh bid for extradition of target killings kingpin

As per the NIA’s charge-sheet filed in a Mohali court, Gursharanbir was in touch with UK resident Jagtar Singh alias Jaggi Johal, arrested by the Punjab Police in connection with target killings.

punjab Updated: Sep 26, 2018 09:21 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab,NIA,target killings
Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwal(HT File )

Upbeat over anti-terror raids in the United Kingdom in connection with ‘target killings’ in Punjab, the National Investigating Agency (NIA) and the Punjab Police have decided to make fresh bid seeking extradition of Khalistani terrorist and alleged mastermind of such attacks, Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwal, to India.

The NIA will seek the extradition of Gursharanbir (35) as the “main kingpin” in cases of target killings of socio-religious leaders, including Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)’s Punjab vice-president Brig Jagdish Gagneja (retd), between October 2016 and December 2017 in Punjab.

As per the NIA’s charge-sheet filed in a Mohali court, Gursharanbir was in touch with UK resident Jagtar Singh alias Jaggi Johal, arrested by the Punjab Police in connection with target killings, who allegedly provided arms training to Ramandip Canadian in a shooting range in Dubai.

Also, the Punjab Police want him in a case of murder of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (an affiliate of the RSS) leader Rulda Singh in Patiala in 2009.

According to the Punjab Police, Gurcharanbir had travelled to India to kill Rulda by using the passport of his brother Amritbir Singh Wahiwal (a UK resident), also wanted in the same case. Gursharanbir had travelled from UK on his brother Amritbir’s passport and had fled back after killing Rulda Singh.

The NIA has started proceedings to declare Gursharanbir a proclaimed offender (PO) in the case, with the agency on Tuesday got issued non-bailable warrants (NBW) against him. After the deadline for executing the non-bailable warrants ends by October 9, he will be declared PO in the case too. The Punjab Police have already declared him a PO in 2013.

“Once he is declared PO, the NIA will make a fresh bid to seek Gursharanbir’s extradition from the UK. The Punjab Police have also sent a dossier to the external affairs ministry a few days back to take up the demand for his extradition in the Rulda murder case,” a senior official dealing with this case told HT.

The raids at the West Midlands and Leicester residences of Gursharanbir, his brother Amritbir and their three close associates Jagdeep Singh Virk, Kuldeep Singh Lehal and Shamsher Singh Khalsa are being seen as an outcome of diplomatic pressure created by the Indian agencies on Britain about the involvement of those living the country in ant-India terror activities.

Previous attempts to extradite him

The Punjab Police in 2013 had issued a red-corner notice against Gursharanbir and his brother. His name also figures on the list of pro-Khalistan terrorists wanted by India.

Earlier also, bids were made to request UK to extradite him but to no avail. Even in Rulda Singh case, a UK police team had come to Patiala and recorded statements of Punjab Police officials after which Gursharanbir and his brother were arrested there. But they were let off after some days.

Who is Gursharanbir?

The Punjab Police say UK-born Gursharanbir is a Babbar Khalsa activist besides being a “small-time criminal”. He recently got into a street fight with locals. He came in touch with Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Singh Mintoo, who died in the Patiala jail this year after cardiac arrest. It was Mintoo who pressed him to kill Rulda Singh, say police. He is also in contact with Pakistan-based Babbar Khalsa leader Harmeet Singh PhD, also the main conspirator of targeted killings.

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 09:16 IST