NEW DELHI

Two alleged militants arrested

“Prize catch”: Two alleged militants of Babbar Khalsa International Jaswant Singh (L) and Surender Singh in police custody in Delhi on Thursday.

“Prize catch”: Two alleged militants of Babbar Khalsa International Jaswant Singh (L) and Surender Singh in police custody in Delhi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Staff Reporter

Accused of planning to target four religious leaders in Punjab

NEW DELHI: Two alleged Babbar Khalsa International militants planning to target four religious leaders in Punjab have been arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi police in Jalandhar. The police claim to have seized from them two pistols with live cartridges.

The Special Cell had in December arrested four alleged Babbar Khalsa militants -- Baljeet Singh Pahu, Bikkar Singh, Kulwinder Singh and Tirlochan Singh. During interrogation, they purportedly disclosed that they had been directed to target some religious leaders and that they were on the verge of executing their plans.

They also disclosed the names of some other Babbar Khalsa militants and sympathisers.

Developing the leads, the Special Cell sleuths zeroed in on two suspected militants who were alleged to be planning to target the religious leaders.

Acting on a tip-off that they would cross the Sutlej bridge in Jalandhar on Wednesday, a team comprising Inspectors Pankaj Sood, Sandeep Malhotra, Attar Singh and Y.K. Bhatia laid a trap and arrested them.

During interrogation, the duo identified themselves as Jaswant Singh, a 31-year-old resident of Muktsar, and Surender Singh, a 22-year-old resident of Jalandhar. Joint Commissioner of Police Karnal Singh said Jaswant was a close accomplice of Jagtar Singh Hawara, a top Babbar Khalsa militant who was arrested by a team led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Ravi Shankar in June 2005.

Jaswant was arrested by the Punjab police in July 2005 under the Arms Act and the Explosive Substance Act. He was lodged in a jail where he came into contact with Khalistan Liberation Force chief Daya Singh Lahoria, Tahal Singh and Baljeet Singh Pahu, also an alleged smuggler of arms, drugs and fake currency.

After his release, Baljeet made arrangements for Jaswant’s release on bail using the money he had received from abroad through hawala channels.

Jaswant was released in January 2007 after which he allegedly contacted Baljeet for further instructions. The police said that after Baljeet was arrested by the Special Cell, Jaswant was entrusted with the task of recruiting young men. He allegedly motivated Surender to work for the outfit. According to the police, both Jaswant and Surender had agreed to undergo training in the handling of weapons and explosives.

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