Close aide of Pro-Khalistan terrorists arrested: NIA


The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a close aide of two foreign-based operatives of the banned Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) — Canada-based Arshdeep Singh alias “Arsh Dala” and Philippines-based Manpreet Singh alias “Peeta”.

Gagandeep Singh alias “Miti”, who was nabbed by the NIA on Tuesday during raids in Haryana and Punjab, is the fifth person to be arrested as part of NIA’s sustained crackdown on the organised crime syndicate and network being operated by the two terrorists in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.

The official said Singh was arrested in a case related to the terror activities of chiefs and members of proscribed pro-Khalistan terrorist organizations. The case was registered suo-moto by the NIA on August 20 last year.

The NIA had earlier arrested Lucky Khokhar alias “Denis” from Ganganagar in February, Jassa Singh of Moga on May 18, as well as Amritpal Singh alias Ammy of Moga and Amrik Singh of Firozpur, who were picked up from the IGI Airport, New Delhi on May 19.

While Peeta has been living in the Philippines, Dala, currently based in Canada, was declared a Proclaimed Offender by the NIA Special Court, Mohali, on Monday in a priest murder conspiracy case.

According to NIA investigations, Singh had been working for Dala and Peeta and was supporting them in smuggling weapons from across the border.

“He was also part of an extortion racket for raising funds for the banned KTF. Dala and Peeta have been continuously recruiting new cadres in India to carry out the activities of the terror group,” the spokesperson said.

The NIA spokesperson said all the accused are working at the behest of KTF’s self-styled chief Harjit Nijjar, currently based in Canada, who was also designated as an ‘individual terrorist’ by the Ministry of Home Affairs in July 2020.

“They are raising funds through extortion and other means, and carrying out smuggling of arms, ammunition and explosives across the border,” the official said.

The spokesperson said KTF, as well as other proscribed terrorist organisations such as Khalistan Liberation Force, Babbar Khalsa International, International Sikh Youth Federation and Khalistan Tiger Force, have been engaged in promoting terror across India.

“Their activities include smuggling of terrorist hardware, such as arms, ammunition explosive, Improvised Explosive Devices across international borders, for carrying out terrorist acts like bomb explosions and targeted killings,” the official said. 

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