A most wanted terrorist and the prime conspirator behind last year’s Ludhiana court bomb blast has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Indira Gandhi International Airport, an official spokesperson Friday said.
The NIA sleuths arrested Harpreet Singh, aka Happy Malaysia, soon after arrived at the airport from Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. On Friday, the agency produced him in special NIA court in Mohali, which sent him in seven day police remand.
The NIA in September had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh on him. Hailing from Miadi Kalan village of Ajnala in Amritsar, Harpreet was hiding in Malaysia, sources said.
“On December 1, he was arrested from IGI airport when he arrived from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was “wanted” for the blast in Ludhiana court building in December last year, which left one person dead and six others injured,” the spokesperson said.
The case was initially registered on December 23, 2021, at Division-5 police station under Ludhiana Commissionerate and re-registered by the NIA on January 13 this year.
“Investigations revealed that Harpreet, an associate of Pakistan-based terrorist and self-styled chief of International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) Lakhbir Singh Rode, was one of the conspirators of the Ludhiana court blast. Acting on the directions of Rode, he coordinated the delivery of the custom-made IED which had been sent from Pakistan to his India based associates and was used for the blast,” the spokesperson added.
“Harpreet was also involved and wanted in various cases, including smuggling of explosives, arms and narcotics,” the spokesperson further said.
Earlier, the NIA had arrested three persons for their involvement in the Ludhiana court blast case — Surmukh Singh Sammu, Dilbagh Singh Baggo and Rajanpreet Singh. Baggo and Sammu were brought on a production warrant from Amritsar jail. Rajanpreet Singh had allegedly handed over IED to Gagandeep Singh Gaggi, a Punjab Police personnel and accused in the case, who died in the blast while allegedly planting the bomb inside the Ludhiana court complex.
“Harpreet is a relative of Surmukh Singh and played a key role in coordinating the entire conspiracy of smuggling the IED from across the border via a drone,” the officer said.
A special NIA had issued a non-bailable warrant against Harpreet and a Look Out Circular (LOC) was also opened. Further investigations in the case are in progress, the spokesperson said.
The anti-drug Special Task Force (STF) of Punjab Police had booked him, along with three others in a case pertaining to recovery of 4 kg heroin and a pistol from an area bordering Pakistan in February last year. Earlier this year, the STF had registered another case against him and three others after 1.5 kg heroin, three IEDs and a pistol were recovered from an area bordering Pakistan. He was alleged to have been facilitating cross-border smuggling of drugs and arms, while being settled in Malaysia.