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NIA submits chargesheet in Ludhiana RSS leader Ravinder Gosain’s murder case

The chargesheet states that the killing was executed to “destabilise the law and order situation in Punjab and to revive the fledgling terrorism in the state”.

punjab Updated: May 04, 2018 22:50 IST
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Mohali
Ravinder Gosain,RSS,NIA
RSS leader Ravinder Gosain was shot dead by two unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants in in October 2017 in Ludhiana.(HT File)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a 1,000-page chargesheet in the NIA court here against 16 accused in the killing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Ravinder Gosain.

As per NIA officials, Hardeep Singh alias Shera and Ramandeep Singh alias Canadian were the two assassins that allegedly shot dead 60-year-old Gosain in October 2017 near his house in Ludhiana while he was returning from a RSS meeting.

Accused Dharminder Singh alias Guggni, Pahaad Singh, Parvez, Malook Singh, Ravipal, Anil Kumar, Manpreet Singh and Amrinderpal Singh allegedly supplied weapons and provided logistic support to the two assassins.

The chargesheet states that the killing was executed to “destabilise the law and order situation in Punjab and to revive the fledgling terrorism in the state”.

Defence counsel Jaspal Singh Manjhpur said, “Only one line mention has been made of UK National Jagtar Singh Johal in the chargesheet, where the NIA claims that back in 2013, he gave 3,000 pounds to Harminder Singh Mintoo when they met in France”.

Mintoo, former Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief, and a co-accused in the case, died due to cardiac arrest in Patiala central jail on April 18. The court on Friday asked the NIA to submit his death certificate.

Plea for 4 to be declared POs

The NIA moved another application in the Mohali court to declare Harsimrat Singh alias PHD, an ISI backed pro-Khalistani, (suspected to be in Pakistan), Gurjinder Singh Shastri (a close confidant of Mintoo, based in Italy), Gurjant Singh(suspected UK-based terrorist) and Gursharanbir Singh(a UK national based in Coventry) as proclaimed offenders.

As per the NIA, the quartet provided training and financial help to the assassins when they visited abroad.

All the accused have been booked under Sections 302 (murder), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 120 B (criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death), the Arms Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 22, when arguments will start on framing of charges in the court by the defence counsel.

A separate application to discharge Taljeet Singh alias Jimmy in the case has also been moved by the investigating agency.

NIA officials told the court that they do not have any substantial evidence against Taljeet and thus are moving a discharge application against him in the court.

The NIA maintained that Mintoo had allegedly roped in Shera after he met him in Italy a few years ago. Shera, who was only 18 back then, was convinced by KLF chief to avenge the alleged atrocities on Sikhs and 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The NIA told the court that more than 100 witnesses will testify for examination during the trial and several people have sought protection, claiming that their lives are at risk. The list of witnesses includes police officials, bank officials, and people involved in transferring of money from foreign countries.

The NIA took over the case from the Punjab Police and has so far arrested 11 persons in various cases relating to the target killings in the state.

First Published: May 04, 2018 22:47 IST