Two days after the arrest of suspected Khalistani terrorist Sher Singh (26), his family in Kartarpur said they had no clue about his alleged terror links and had plans to send him to the Middle East to settle there. They added that he had come home last for Baisakhi on April 13. “I could not believe my eyes when I saw the news in papers and on television that he had been arrested for his alleged links with the terrorists. For me, he was working as a taxi driver for some NRI in Jandiala (Jalandhar),” said his mother, Rajinder Kaur (50). She added that his real name was Sarvdeep Singh alias Sunny, and the name Sher Singh was given to him by “some Nihang”.
Rajinder Kaur stays with her 16-year-old younger son at a place owned by her brother in Baradari area of Kartarpur town near Jalandhar. Sher Singh, the family said, had left home at the age of 11-12, and has since been living at various religious places. He would visit home occasionally for a day or two, they added.
“He came home last on Baisakhi (April 13) for a day and next day he left the house with some Nihangs. After that he called me last week and told that his employer, for whom he was working as a taxi driver, was not paying him promised amount of Rs 10,000 per month and giving just Rs 3,000,” said his mother.
“After his arrest on Sunday, he spoke to me today morning and told me that he was fine and asked to give his ‘Adhaar Card and Passport’ to the policemen who will visit,” she added.
According to the mother, Sher Singh studied till Class 5 in Ludhiana, and then he started visiting religious places with other boys his age. “I would bring him home, but after some days he again would go with his friends to various Gurudwaras and religious deras. Then he went to Hazoor Sahib in Nanded (Maharashtra) and did not return home for 8 years. We tried to locate him but failed,” she said, adding that he returned after 8 years as an Amritdhari Sikh (Baptised Sikh) with deep knowledge about Sikhism and ‘Gatka’ (Sikh martial art).
The accused’s father, Harjinder Singh, is physically challenged and stays with his relatives in Ludhiana where he works in their factory to earn meagre amount.
“Because of my husband’s poor income, I moved back to Karatarpur where my brother is looking after us. My husband too visits us occasionally,” she said. “Sarvdeep can never do any wrong…he could be the victim of circumstances and his company,” said the mother, tears rolling down her cheeks.
On Sunday, BSF and Punjab Police had busted a terror module with links to Canada and Pakistan, and arrested two suspected militants. Apart from Sher Singh, Mann Singh (40) of Shir Hargobindpur in Gurdaspur was also arrested.