Updated: February 9, 2021 8:38:49 pm
In a joint operation by the Punjab Police and Maharashtra Police in Nanded district, a 37-year-old man was arrested as part of a probe into a case in which activities of a militant group, Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), are being investigated under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by Punjab Police.
The arrested suspect, identified as Gurpinder Singh (37), hails from Sri Muktsar Sahib district of Punjab and was staying near a gurdwara located near Nanded city for a few weeks, according to Nanded District Police.
Nanded District Superintendent of Police, Pramod Shewale, told The Indian Express, “The suspect wanted in connection with a case, being investigated under UAPA, was arrested from a place near Nanded city in a joint effort, following inputs from Punjab Police. He was produced before a magistrate court on Monday and was taken to Punjab on transit remand granted by the court.”
Gurpinder Singh was arrested from a residential area near the Shikarghat Sahib Gurudwara, located around 20 km from Nanded city, where he had been staying since the last one month, as per primary probe. His movements were being monitored for the last few weeks.
The arrest has been in connection to a case in which the Amritsar-based State Special Operations Cell of Punjab CID’s Intelligence Wing, in December last year, booked four persons — identified as Sarabjeet Singh, Amandeep Singh, Gurdeep Singh and Jagdish Singh — for their alleged involvement in the activities of KZF and “conspiring to commit terrorist activities in Punjab”.
The FIR filed in the case alleges that the fourth suspect, Jagdish Singh, is based in Belgium and was in contact with the other three for making arrangements of funds from various countries, procuring firearms and recruiting more persons. KZF is alleged to have operatives in India as well as in European Union countries.
The FIR further claims that the suspects in India had already procured firearms and were planning to carry out ‘targeted killings of leaders of Hindu organisations and of those against Khalistani ideology.’ Gurpinder’s name reportedly cropped up during the investigation of the case, a manhunt for him was subsequently launched and his location was traced to Nanded.
This is not the first case of an alleged Khalistani terror operative being arrested from Maharashtra. In December 2018, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had arrested Harpal Singh Naik (42) from Chakan in Pune over his alleged links to Khalistani separatists. The case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency in January 2019, considering its national security implications.
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As part of the probe in the same case in December 2020, the NIA had arrested absconding alleged Khalistani terror operative Gurjeet Singh Nijjar, who was reportedly hiding in Cyprus.
A terror suspect from Nanded was arrested in Sangli by Punjab Police and Maharashtra ATS back in September 2013 for his alleged links with a pro-Khalistani group. Police had then seized about 10 firearms, including one AK-47, from the suspects arrested in the case.
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