With arrest of two key men, Khalistani ‘terror cells’ busted in Punjab
Punjab Police have busted two sleeper cells of terror outfits Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) and Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) that were preparing to target different dera heads, retired top-ranking police officers and activists of right-wing Hindu organisations.punjab Updated: May 25, 2016 23:07 IST
Punjab Police have busted two sleeper cells of terror outfits Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) and Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) that were allegedly preparing to target different dera (sect) heads, retired top-ranking police officers, and activists of right-wing Hindu organisations.
Top police sources said the month-long and carefully crafted operation reached a decisive stage on Tuesday night when cops arrested Mandeep Singh, an operative of the KTF, from Jagraon near Ludhiana, and Arvinder Singh alias Mitha Singh of BKI from a village adjoining Nawanshahr.
The duo had entered Punjab about two months ago. While Mandeep had come from Canada, Mitha had arrived from Doha in Qatar. Both terror operatives had travelled to Punjab on valid documents and had no history of involvement in crime, said investigators.
Canada-based Hardeep Singh Nijjar of the KTF was Mandeep’s handler, said sources, adding that Mitha had developed links with Germany based son of Wadhawa Singh, BKI chief who is presently based in Pakistan.
“Mitha was taking instructions from Pakistan- based Karanbir Singh an associate of Wadhawa Singh,” said a police source.
BKI’s Karanbir Singh, who hails from Hoshiarpur, had escaped from the police custody after he was arrested for killing a dera head in Doaba.
Both modules were working in tandem to prepare strike groups. On the hit list were some dera heads, activists of Shiv Sena outfits and retired police officers who were on the forefront of fighting terrorism in Punjab.
Already, these sleeper cells had done recce of the movements of a politically active and retired director general of police (DGP)-rank officer who owes allegiance to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal.
Police teams are conducting raids at different places to nab other members of these cells.
“The new and disturbing aspect of this case is that the BKI and KTF are now roping in Sikh youth with no criminal record to fox the security agencies. Mandeep and Arvinder were further luring Sikh youths with clean image to launch strikes,” an investigator said.