NIA registers case
against ‘Khalistani elements’,
Jaswinder Singh Multani

0
29

By Rajnish Singh
NEW DELHI: India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a case against some “Khalistani elements” and member of ‘Sikhs For Justice (SFJ)’ Jaswinder Singh Multani, sources said on Friday. The anti-terror agency registered the case late on Thursday following orders received from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The move comes following a series of reports that allegedly exposes the Khalistani terrorists plans to cause large-scale disturbance in poll-bound Punjab in cahoots allegedly with Pakistan’s intelligence agency.

Jaswinder Singh Multani

Multani, a prominent member of the designated terror group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), has allegedly been linked to the Ludhiana court blast case. A bomb blast had occurred at the Ludhiana court complex on December 23 that killed one and injured two others.

Multani was held by police in Germany on December 27. He has been residing in Erfurt, Germany. A police officer said that during the investigation names of two suspects residing in Pakistan and Germany, both from banned Sikh organizations, have emerged. Sikhs For Justice is a designated terror group in India.

India’s Intelligence agencies had earlier raised an alert about Harvinder Singh Sandhu, a Babbar Khalsa terrorist who is stated to be currently in Pakistan, and Multani, a close associate of SFJ’s Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, residing in Germany, about their involvement in the Ludhiana blast.

Multani recently came to notice for allegedly arranging and sending weapons consignments comprising explosives, hand grenades from across the border to Punjab. These weapons were sent with the help of his Pakistan-based operatives and arms smugglers.

He has been allegedly planning to carry out terrorist activities in Punjab by using the smuggled consignments through gangsters and extremists in the state.
Multani is also learnt to be closely connected with Khalistani leaders like Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Paramjit Singh Pamma, Sabi Singh, Kulwant Singh Mothada and others.

NIA begins probe against Multani

ANI further reported that Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday said that it has registered a case against several “pro-Khalistani elements” and Germany-based Sikhs For Justice operative Jaswinder Singh Multani for hatching conspiracy with Pakistani Intelligence agency ISI’s operatives to carry out terror attacks in Mumbai and other parts of India.
As per NIA, a case has been registered under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 121A (conspiracy to commit offence) of Indian Penal Code and sections 10, 13, 17, 18 and 18B of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 against Multani and his other associates late on Thursday following Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order. In an official statement, the NIA said that the case relates to criminal conspiracy hatched by Multani with several other “pro-Khalistani elements located abroad for radicalizing, motivating and recruiting youths in Punjab on ground and online through social media platforms to propagate their ideology with the aim to secede Punjab from the Union of India”.

Police at the Ludhiana court complex after the explosion on 23 December

“They have been involved in raising funds to procure arms, ammunition and explosives by using smuggling networks in Punjab to revive terrorism in Punjab,” said NIA.
The Indian agency has claimed; “Multani has also been in contact with Pakistan’s intelligence agency operatives to carry out terror attacks in Mumbai and other parts of India. Pursuant to the registration of the case, requisite actions as per law for the expeditious investigation of the case have been initiated,” the NIA said.
He has been allegedly planning to carry out terrorist activities in Punjab by using the smuggled consignments through gangsters and extremists in the state.
According to NIA, Multani is also learnt to be closely connected with Khalistani leaders like Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Paramjit Singh Pamma, Sabi Singh, Kulwant Singh Mothada and others. (ANI)

One person killed, six injured

One person was killed and six were injured when a bomb went off in the Ludhiana District Court complex on 23 December. Sources in the Punjab Police said while Multani was detained and questioned by German authorities in connection with the case, he was not arrested and there is no immediate possibility of his being deported to India. 

Multani denies his involvement

According to a report by ‘The Print’, denying his involvement, Multani said in the video released by SFJ the that his fight was one of the “pen”, not “weapons”. He said the Indian authorities were trying to defame him and the SFJ. 

Last week, Punjab DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyaya had said that the former policeman killed in the Ludhiana court blast had links with Khalistani elements and terror outfits, adding that some Pakistan-based entities could be behind the incident.

Police at the Ludhiana court complex after the explosion on 23 December

Multani is from a village in Mukerian in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district.

His father Ajit Singh told mediapersons Tuesday that Multani, as well as his other son and his daughter, were all living in Germany, that they had had no contact with him, and they had not come to Punjab for several years.

Meanwhile, Punjab Police is trying to gather information about the associates of Gagandeep Singh, the former policeman who died in the Ludhiana blast. Gagandeep is believed to have been carrying the bomb when it exploded in the the bathroom of the Ludhiana court. 

Gagandeep, a former munshi at the Khanna rural police station, was booked in August 2019 after drugs were allegedly recovered from him. He was subsequently dismissed from service. He spent two years in jail and was released in September this year.

According to ‘The Print’, the police, it is learnt, have questioned his family, including a woman friend who is also a Punjab Police employee. The police have also started questioning the other inmates with whom Gagandeep spent his time in Ludhiana Central Jail, including three gangsters from whom RDX explosive, drugs and weapons were allegedly recovered. 

The police have also questioned some of Gagandeep’s former colleagues in the Punjab Police, including two former Khanna station house officers, among others.

SFJ denies arrest of Jaswinder Singh Multani

According to a report from Chandigarh by ‘The Print’ the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a US-based pro-Khalistan group banned in India for its secessionist activities, has claimed that Jaswinder Singh Multani has not been arrested, contrary to multiple reports that said he was arrested in Germany on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in the Ludhiana blast. 

Sources in the Punjab Police confirmed that Multani was detained and questioned but not arrested. According to a statement and video issued by the SFJ’s general counsel, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Multani is at home in Germany and the news regarding his arrest was “fake”.

In the video issued by Pannun, he is seen having a video call with Multani. Multani, considered close to Pannun, says that he is at home and that they “keep talking” to the German authorities.

According to investigators trying to crack the case, Multani is a radicalised Sikh and has been working for the SFJ.  “Multani is considered to be the second most important foreign link in the case, the first being gangster Harvinder Rinda, who is widely believed to be living in Lahore, Pakistan and is supported by its intelligence agency,” said a senior Punjab Police officer. 

The sources added that Multani was detained by the German authorities following information from the Indian authorities about the possibility of his involvement not just in the Ludhiana blast case, but also in plans to carry out blasts in Delhi and Mumbai.

SFJ organising referendum

The SFJ is spearheading a referendum campaign for the creation of Khalistan by registering voters across Canada, the US, and other countries. Voting for the referendum has already taken place in the UK. 

“Voting has also taken place in Italy, and next it is due to take place in Germany, and this is a move to defame me and the SFJ,” said Multani in the video.

In his statement, Pannun referred to Multani as a “Khalistan referendum propagandist”.  “SFJ believes in ballot not bomb,” said Pannun, who claimed that he was camping in the EU for the Khalistan referendum campaign.