Mon, 17 Jan 2022

New Delhi [India], January 13 (ANI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday took over the probe in the Ludhiana court blast case and filed a fresh FIR in the December 23 incident which resulted in the killing of alleged bomber Gagandeep Singh, said sources.

The agency took over the probe from Punjab Police following an order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The move comes after its initial investigation in coordination with Punjab Police linked Gagandeep Singh's connection with Khalistani group members during his jail term. Gagandeep Singh was dismissed from Punjab Police in 2019 in connection with a drugs case and spent two years in jail. He was released in September last year.

The NIA on December 31 last year filed a case against several "pro-Khalistani elements" and Germany-based Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) operative Jaswinder Singh Multani for hatching conspiracy with ISI operatives to carry out a terror attack in Mumbai and other parts of India.

Multani has also been linked to this Ludhiana court blast case that left six people injured.

The NIA said the case relates to criminal conspiracy hatched by Multani with several other "pro-Khalistani elements located abroad for radicalizing, motivating and recruiting youths in Punjab on ground and online through social media platforms to propagate their ideology with the aim to secede Punjab from the Union of India".

"They have been involved in raising funds to procure arms, ammunition and explosives by using smuggling networks in Punjab to revive terrorism in Punjab," said the NIA.

"Multani has also been in contact with ISI operatives to carry out a terror attack in Mumbai and other parts of India. Pursuant to the registration of the case, requisite actions as per law for the expeditious investigation of the case have been initiated," the NIA said.

The anti-terror agency's move comes following a series of reports that exposed the Khalistani terrorists plans to cause large-scale disturbance in poll-bound Punjab in cahoots with Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI.

Multani was detained in Germany last month. He has been residing in Erfurt, Germany.

A police officer said that during the investigation names of two suspects residing in Pakistan and Germany, both from banned Sikh organizations, have emerged. Sikhs For Justice is a designated terror group in India.

Intelligence agencies had earlier alerted about Harvinder Singh Sandhu, a Babbar Khalsa terrorist who is currently in Pakistan, and Multani, a close associate of SFJ's Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, residing in Germany, about their involvement in the Ludhiana blast.

Multani recently came to notice for arranging and sending weapons consignments comprising explosives, hand grenades from across the border to Punjab. These weapons were sent with the help of his Pakistan-based operatives and arms smugglers.

He has been allegedly planning to carry out terrorist activities in Punjab by using the smuggled consignments through gangsters and extremists in the state.

Multani is also learned to be closely connected with Khalistani leaders like Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Paramjit Singh Pamma, Sabi Singh, Kulwant Singh Mothada, and others. (ANI)

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