In a significant development in the fight against terrorism, the National Investigation Agency (NIA)has filed a chargesheet against three individuals associated with banned Khalistani outfits Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). The chargesheet reveals their involvement in international terror operations and exposes their connections with India-based terror operatives. The NIA has also named six other associates working for BKI and KTF in the chargesheet, shedding light on a complex mechanism of fund-raising for the two outfits.
The three individuals identified as Harwinder Singh Sandhu alias ‘Rinda,’ Lakhbir Singh Sandhu alias ‘Landa,’ and Arshdeep Singh alias ‘Arsh Dala’ are notorious gangsters-turned-terrorists and drug smugglers who have established their bases outside India. These terrorists have developed their networks of operatives abroad, enabling them to carry out various criminal activities, including terrorist attacks, extortion, and smuggling of weapons and drugs into India.
According to a spokesperson from the agency, Harwinder Singh Sandhu, known as ‘Rinda,’ has been involved in several serious offenses, such as smuggling arms, ammunition, explosives, and drugs into Indian territory from Pakistan. Additionally, he has been responsible for recruiting BKI operatives, committing murders, and raising funds for the outfit through extortion in the states of Punjab and Maharashtra. He was also linked to the RPG attack on the Punjab Police Intelligence headquarters in May 2022. As a result of his heinous activities, ‘Rinda’ was declared an “individual terrorist” along with ‘Arsh Dala’ and ‘Landa’ by the central authorities.
‘Landa’ of Tarn Taran, previously involved in criminal and gangster activities, left for Canada in 2017, where he established connections with ‘Rinda’ and started working for BKI. He emerged as the main accused in numerous terrorist incidents, including the RPG attack on Punjab Police Intelligence headquarters and RPG attack on Sarhali Police station in Tarn Taran in December 2022. He was also the mastermind behind the conspiracy to assassinate Punjab Police Sub Inspector Dilbagh Singh in August of the same year.
‘Arsh Dala’ is a Moga resident who moved to Canada and came into contact with Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of the proscribed terrorist organization KTF. Together, they recruited youth and formed terrorist gangs involved in extortion and targeted killings of businessmen and leaders of specific communities in Punjab.
The NIA has identified several other foreign-based chargesheeted operatives of BKI and KTF involved in supporting their terror activities. These individuals, located in different countries, have played pivotal roles in aiding and abetting the terrorist operations of the outfits in India.
Among those charged are Harjot Singh, currently in the USA; Kashmir Singh Galwaddi, who is absconding and suspected to be in Nepal; and Tarsem Singh, currently residing in Dubai, all linked to BKI. Additionally, Gurjant Singh, hiding in Australia, has been named as a foreign-based node of KTF.
Furthermore, the chargesheet includes the names of Deepak Ranga and Lucky Khokhar alias ‘Denis,’ who were recruited by foreign-based handlers to carry out terror activities within India.
The investigation by the NIA is still ongoing, with 16 other absconding and arrested accused associated with BKI and KTF under scrutiny. The chargesheet’s revelations underscore the need for continued vigilance and international cooperation to dismantle terror networks and safeguard national security.
The chargesheeted individuals will now face legal proceedings in a special court as authorities work to bring them to justice for their involvement in planning and executing acts of terror in India.