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Police identify shooter in Punjab RSS leaders’ killings

The police said Ramandeep “selected the targets and carried out the killings at the behest of his ISI handlers and some leaders of the Khalistan Liberation Force who have taken refuge in Pakistan."

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana |
Updated: November 9, 2017 4:12:54 am
Ravinder Gosain, 58, was the mukhya shikshak of RSS’s Mohan shakha for many years. He was also mandal pradhan of a local BJP unit. (file photo)

Punjab Police on Wednesday identified the shooter allegedly responsible for the targeted killings, including those of RSS leaders Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja and Ravinder Gosain, as Ramandeep Singh alias Raman Canadian. Ramandeep was produced in Baghapurana court on Wednesday and remanded to seven days police custody.

“Ramandeep (28), a resident of Chuharwal, police station-Maherban, Ludhiana, has confessed to his involvement in the seven killings and targeted attacks that had rocked the state since January 2016. Besides the murders of Gagneja and Gosain, who were shot dead in August 2016 and October 2017 respectively, the accused had confessed to his involvement in the Amit Sharma murder case of February 2016, February 2017 Khanna killings of DSS follower Satpal Kumar and his son and the July 2017 Ludhiana killing of Christian Pastor Sultan Masih”, a police spokesperson said in a release issued this evening.

Punjab Police said that it was Ramandeep “who selected the targets and carried out the killings at the behest of his ISI handlers and some leaders of the Khalistan Liberation Force who have taken refuge in Pakistan, with the intent of creating communal disturbances and destabilising the state”.

DGP Suresh Arora, who visited Moga this morning, along with DGP Intelligence, Dinkar Gupta, said, “Ramandeep has made several other sensational disclosures. We have got several leads that are being actively pursued.”

Police sources revealed that there was an Italy link that has also come up in the investigations. “Name of a pro-Khalistan sympathiser based in Italy has also come during the interrogation of accused already arrested by us. We are probing the leads further,” a senior police officer told The Indian Express.

Arora added that the breakthrough of these sensational cases came with the arrest of Jimmy Singh — a Jammu resident who recently returned to India from UK after spending many years there. Jimmy was arrested last week from Delhi’s IGI airport.

Police sources revealed that Jimmy Singh and Jagtar Singh Johal — two UK based suspects named in the high-profile killings were in fact arrested few days ago from different locations by Moga police in coordination with intelligence wing as they were wanted in an illegal weapons case of Baghapurana registered in 2016. They were produced in the court at Baghapurana and taken on seven days custody for further interrogation. The third accused involved in the case Dharmender Singh aka Guggni is already in police custody and facing several other heinous crime cases.

Besides these three, the fourth accused arrested by the police was on Wednesday identified as Ramandeep Singh of Meharban village in Ludhiana. He is also arrested in the same 2016 illegal weapons case. Moga police is also interrogating Harminder Singh Mintoo, a Khalistan Liberation Force terror operative who is already facing several terror cases, after taking his custody on Wednesday. Mintoo, last year, escaped from Nabha high security jail with five others including four notorious gangsters, but was re-arrested. He is being questioned after the interrogation of Jimmy, Jagtar and Ramandeep revealed that Mintoo was too allegedly involved in weapons smuggling.

Police sources added that there are “certain links between both the cases — illegal weapons case of Baghapurana and recent killings in Punjab,” which is now being probed by the police.

In December 2016, police had recovered a 9 mm pistol, two live cartridges and an open bullet shell from village Budh Singhwala following after which an FIR was registered under the Arms Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act at Baghapurana police station. Police had arrested a man Trilok Singh Laddi — cousin of Jimmy Singh, a resident of Gadhigarh, Jammu in that case. Jimmy was also named as an accused in the same FIR. Since, he could not be arrested that time and it was found that he was out of India, his Look Out Circular (LOC) was issued. It was in execution of the same LOC that Jimmy was arrested at Delhi IGI airport when he landed here last week.

Meanwhile, the jailed gangster Dharmender Singh Guggni was produced in the local court of judicial magistrate G S Johal Tuesday and sent to seven days police remand for questioning in another case of murder registered at Dharamkot police station in 2011. A Sikh youth was brutally shot dead in village Fatehgarh Korotana of Dharamkot in 2011 in which Moga police has now claimed involvement of Guggni.

Moga SSP Rajjit Singh Hundal confirmed that five suspects, including Mintoo, are in custody of Moga police and DGP Suresh Arora interrogated all of them on Wednesday. “Investigation is going on in multiple cases including recent killings in Punjab. Somewhere these all cases are getting linked,” SSP Rajjit Singh said. Police sources told Express that “one suspected terrorist, Sher Singh, who was arrested by Punjab Police in May this year for his alleged links with Pakistan and Canada based radicals had also worked as a taxi driver for Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi during his visit to Punjab in April this year. Sher Singh’s real name was later found to be Sarvdeep Singh alias Sunny (26)”.

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