January 28, 2021 3:28:48 am
The National Investigation Agency Wednesday took over the probe into the killing of Shaurya Chakra recipient Balwinder Singh Sandhu in Punjab.
Sandhu, known for fighting militancy in Punjab, was gunned down at his home in Tarn Taran district’s Bhikhiwind by two unidentified bikers on October 16. The attack took place months after the 62-year-old’s security cover 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.
“During the initial investigation by Punjab Police, it was revealed that the killing was executed under a conspiracy hatched by Pakistan based Khalistani Terrorist Lakvir Singh Rode and his handlers in Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI. The killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh was executed through Sukhmeet Pal Singh alias Sukh Bhikariwal r/o village Bhikariwal, Kalanaur, District Gurdaspur, a gangster turned terrorist,” NIA said in a statement.
In November, the Tarn Taran police had arrested eight persons in the case. But in December, the Delhi Police Special Cell arrested five suspected members of a banned terrorist group following a brief exchange of fire in East Delhi’s Shakarpur. While two were from Punjab, three belonged to Kashmir.
The two accused from Punjab were said to be associates of dreaded gangster Sukhmeet Singh, alias Sukh Bhikhariwal, and were allegedly involved in the killing of Sandhu, a former CPI(M) member.
Police had then said they were working on the directions of Khalistan movement leaders sponsored by Pakistan’s ISI and had allegedly killed Sandhu on their orders.
The two men were allegedly planning targeted killings in various north Indian states and the police seizedweapons, drugs, and other incriminating materials from their possession.
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