National

NIA to probe plot to murder Parkash Singh Badal

Revival of Khalistani outfit a worry

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the probe into the recent looting of weapons from two policemen in Uttar Pradesh, which is allegedly linked to a Khalistani plot to assassinate former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

A senior NIA official said the Uttar Pradesh police had arrested some suspects in October who had confessed that they were planning to assassinate Mr. Badal at a rally at the behest of Khalistani separatist outfits.

On October 2, some unknown men allegedly snatched weapons — an INSAS rifle and a .303 bore rifle along with ammunition — from two police personnel at the Khala Kamalpur check post in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli. The weapons were hidden in a gurudwara in Shamli and were to be transported to Punjab where Mr. Badal was to address a public rally.

Four arrested

On October 16, the U.P. police arrested the three men involved in the looting of the weapons after a brief encounter. The accused were identified as Karam Singh, Gurjant, alias Zinta and Amrit. Following this, the main accused, German Singh, was arrested from a gurudwara in Rajasthan’s Bikaner on October 19.

The Home Ministry has transferred the investigation to the NIA due to heightened activity by pro-Khalistani groups recently. “We will soon take the accused in custody and begin the investigation. The case was transferred to us to investigate the Khalistani plot,” said an NIA official.

Last month, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh told a press conference that the accused arrested in connection with a grenade attack on a religious congregation near Amritsar were associated with the banned outfit — the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) — and were backed by Pakistan’s ISI.

The NIA had chronicled the revival of the extremist outfit in May this year when the agency accused the KLF of being involved in eight incidents of murder and attempted murders of RSS leaders and a pastor in Punjab in 2016 and 2017.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 7:01:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nia-to-probe-plot-to-murder-parkash-singh-badal/article25735747.ece

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