A day after Delhi Police got 14-day remand of British national Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi Johal, Punjab Police too is planning to seek his remand in connection with murder of Shaurya Chakra awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu.
A Delhi court had on Thursday granted Delhi Police remand of Johal, who is currently locked up in high security Tihar jail and facing nine cases under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for target killings in Punjab. One case is with Punjab Police, whereas rest of the eight cases are being investigated National Investigative Agency (NIA).
Questioning the theory of Johal’s connection with Sandhu’s murder, his lawyer, Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, asked that how a person locked up at high security jail, with no visitors since outbreak of Covid-19, can contact with a person in Dubai to kill someone in Tarn Taran.
Delhi Police had told Patiala House court, “Source information was received that Pakistan agency ISI is planning to execute targeting killing of Hindu leaders in Delhi and neighbouring states through Khalistani terrorists by use of high grade weapons. In this connection, on December 12, 2020 accused Sukhmeet Pal Singh alias Sukh Bhikharipur alias Kamaljeet Singh was apprehended from T-3 IGI Airport, New Delhi. He was remanded to 8 days police custody wherein he disclosed that 5-6 months ago he came in contact with the accused Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi Johal, Khalistani leader through Lakhbir Singh alias Rode, who is the leader of Khalistan Zindabad Force and one Sunny who is operative of ISI in Toronto. Sunny and Jagtar Singh Johal alais Jaggi Johal knew each other from the past and they both instructed Bhikharipur to execute killing of Shaurya Chakra awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu alias Comrade considering him as a threat to Khalistani movement.”
A Shaurya Chakra recipient for fighting militancy in Punjab, Sandhu was gunned down at his home in Tarn Taran’s Bhikhiwind by two unidentified bikers on October 16, 2020. The attack took place months after the security cover of Balwinder Singh Sandhu (62) was removed by the state government. Sandhu’s family termed the killing a terror attack, and blamed it on the decision to remove his security.
While Punjab Police had earlier said it was yet to find evidence of a terror angle to Sandhu’s killing, it is now planning to bring Johal on remand.
“Our investigation into Sandhu murder case is still going on. We had unveiled the nexus but main conspirator and executors were not arrested. So far we hadn’t found any terror angle. But new facts have come on record after the arrest of Sukh Bhikharipur. We will also bring Sukh Bhikharipur and Johal on police remand,” said SSP Tarn Taran, Dhruman Nimbale, while talking to The Indian Express.
Delhi Police had also pointed to narco-terrorism angle to demand custody of Johal. “It is submitted that police custody remand is required to unearth the whole conspiracy of the whole network of narco-terrorism as he has to be confronted with other accused persons Sukhmeet Pal Singh alias Sukh Bhikhariwala and to analyse different chat accounts of Sukh Bhikhariwala and to identify his other associates in Delhi and others places,” Delhi Police told court.
Bhikharipur had come on Delhi Police Radar on December 7 after an alleged shootout with the five criminals, three from Kashmir and two from Punjab. Two of the accused arrested by Delhi Police after shootout were Sukhdeep Singh alias Sukha and Gurjeet Singh alias Bha. According to Punjab Police, both killed Balwinder Singh Sandhu on the instructions of Bhikharipur, who is alleged main conspirator in murder.
Punjab Police is yet to take Sukha and Bha on remand. Police is expected to get remand of Bhikharipur and Johal after their police remand of Delhi Police gets over.
“I am surprised that Delhi Police told court that Johal was in touch with Bhikharipur for last five to six months and passed instructions to kill Bhikharipur. Johal was arrested in November 2017. He was transferred to Tihar jail on May 2019. It is high security jail and Johal lives under CCTV camera surveillance for 24 hours. I was last to meet him in person on 5 February, 2019. Since then nobody has met him in person due to Covid-19 outbreak. How can he contact someone in Dubai and pass instructions to kill someone in Tarn Taran. It is not possible,” said Manjhpur.
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