Fugitive suspect involved in sacrilege case caught at KIA

May 23, 2023 08:38 pm | Updated 08:38 pm IST - Bengaluru

Immigration officials detained Sandeep Bareta, the key conspirator in the Bargari sacrilege case in Punjab reported in 2015 involving the desecration of the holy Guru Granth Sahib and member of Dera Sacha Souda. Sandeep was on the run for over seven years and was nabbed at Kempegowda International Airport while he was boarding a flight to Singapore.

Sandeep was handed over to the International Airport Police, who in turn handed him over to officials of a Special Investigation Team of the Punjab Police.

A Lookout Circular (LOC) was issued against him in 2021. The suspect was planning to fly out of the country from Bengaluru to Singapore and then to Shanghai in China. 

A native of Bareta city in the Mansa district of Southern Punjab, Sandeep has been absconding since October 2015 after being wanted by Punjab police in the 2015 Bargari sacrilege incidents involving members of the convicted spiritual leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s Dera Sacha Souda desecrating the Guru Granth Sahib at Gurudwaras in Bargari village in Faridkot district, Punjab.

The local court examining the Bargari sacrilege case had declared Souda’s national committee members from Sirsa including Sandeep Bareta, Pardeep Kaler from Kalayat district in Haryana, and Harsh Dhuri from Sangrur district in Punjab as key conspirators and fugitives in the case. Kaler and Dhuri still remain at large.

With an SIT team of Faridkot leading the probe, the trio went into hiding for more than seven years and were suspected to have fled the country. Meanwhile, around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, Bareta was traced to KIA after he remained allegedly unaware of the fact that there was a LOC for his passport over the criminal charges.

He was detained immediately minutes before he was to board a flight to Singapore from where he had planned to flee to Shanghai using his Indian passport.

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