August 10, 2016 | By Parmjeet Singh
Chandigarh: The Punjab Police have reportedly arrested three persons from Hoshiarpur district of Punjab alleging that they were linked to Pakistan’sInter-Services Intelligence (ISI) .
According to Punjab Police, the arrested suspects – all Sikhs, are allegedly linked to the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF).
The police have also booked two NRIs on charges of trying to revive militency in Punjab.
As per media reports, the case has been registered in Chhabewal police station, 10 km from Hoshiarpur town. The FIR is reportedly registered under various sections of Arms Act, Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
The police maintains to have recovered three pistols, ammunitions and explosives and nearly 15 bullet-proof jackets from their hideout in a joint operation with the Central agencies.
As per certain media reports the NRIs booked include US-based Harjap Singh Japhi who is said to be a supporter of Sikh humna rights group called Sikhs for Justice (SFJ). Other NRI is Italy-based Avtar Singh. Both Harjap Singh Japhi and Avtar Singh are from Hoshiarpur district of Punjab.
Besides this Vikramjit Singh and Balwinder Singh of Gurdaspur district have also been named in the FIR.
According to police the arrests were maid following inputs from security agencies, based on phone call intercepts coming to some persons in Handowal village in Hoshiarpur district.
“The calls used to be made to one Jaspreet Singh of Handowal village, who was a ‘Gatka’ teacher in a gurdwara in Chhakowal Shiekhan. Avtar Singh (from Italy) met Jaspreet at the gurdwara on October 11, 2015. Avtar returned to Italy in June this year and used to call Jaspreet.
“Avtar Singh and Harjap Singh, who is based in the US, were in touch with Jaspreet Singh. They even sent him money, religious literature and T-shirts”, some media reports quote an unnamed investigation officer.
After tracking their activities for a few days, Punjab Police and central agencies took Jaspreet and Hardeep into custody. Kuldip was taken into custody based on the questioning of these youths.
The conspiracy was unearthed earlier this month and the case registered on August 6, police officials said. The suspects have been booked under various sections of the Arms Act, Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
“The names of at least four other Khalistan sympathisers have been revealed, who are part of this module. These people were trying to collect explosives and ammunition. Investigations are in progress,” the source said.
Besides the three KLF activists and two NRIs, others names mentioned in the FIR (first information report) include Vikramjit Singh and Balwinder Singh of Gurdaspur district.
Police sources said the suspects had revealed during interrogation that the weapons and bullet proof jackets had been brought from Pakistan via the border belt in Tarn Taran district in Punjab.