Free Press Journal

Bhopal: Arrested pro-Khalistanis had armed militants for political killings in Punjab


Bhopal: The three men arrested on Wednesday night by MP ATS and Punjab police had supplied pistols to pro-Khalistan militants for targeted political killings in Punjab. The arrested trio includes cousin of a Canada-based Khalistan separatist leader. The three were identified Balkar Singh (45), Balwindar Singh (28) and Satyendra Rawat (26) from Dabra, Thatipur and Chinor areas of Gwalior.

According to key sources connected with the joint operation, Balkar was originally a native of Gurdaspur district of Punjab, who had migrated to Gwalior district over three decades back and was primarily engaged in agriculture.

Gurmeet Cheema, Balkar’s cousin, operates an outfit Khalsa Sewa Dal (KSD) in Canada, and also has links with the terror outfits Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) and International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) which primarily operate from Pakistan. The nexus came in light, in May 2017, when two KLF ultras Maan Singh and Sher Singh were arrested by BSF from near the international border in Punjab. From their possession three country-made pistols and live cartridges were seized, after which a case was lodged at Ramdas police station of rural Amritsar.

Investigations in the case later led to the arrest of three more KLF men in Punjab, including Jagroop Singh, Gurdayal Singh and Satwindar Singh. Interrogation of the arrested men revealed that the three pistols were supplied from Balkar Singh and aides in Gwalior at the behest of Canada-based Cheema.

The pistols were to be used for executing targeted killing of some politicians in Punjab as part of ISYF and KLF plans to revive the movement for separate Khalistan, a key MP ATS source told.

“All three men arrested by Punjab Police from Gwalior were accused in the case lodged at Ramdas police station in Amritsar in May. They have already been taken to Punjab. Once their grilling is completed by Punjab police, MP police too might interrogate them,” said MP police’s IG (Law and Order) Makarand Deuskar on Thursday.

In the primary investigations it is revealed that, Balkar Singh was in constant touch with Canada-based cousin Gurmeet Cheema over phone.

Satyendra Rawat, who had arranged the three pistols for Balkar, is a listed criminal in Gwalior, who had come out of jail on August 1 only. Rawat had supplied the pistols and cartridges to Balkar via Balwindar. Later, KLF terrorist Maan Singh had come to Gwalior in April 2017 and taken the pistols and bullets from Balkar.

It’s not the first time that link with Punjab criminals has been traced to MP. In January 2017, a gangster Kuldeep Singh Deol ‘Neeta,’ prime accused of the November 2016 Nabha jail break in Punjab was arrested with an aide by joint teams of MP and Punjab police from his rented flat in a posh locality of Indore.

A few years back also a major drug smuggler from Punjab along with his wife had used houses of relatives in Shivpuri, Guna and Gwalior districts as hideouts.

In 1980s and 1990s also militants from Punjab used pockets where immigrants from Punjab settled in Guna, Shivpuri and Gwalior districts as safe havens.