On October 11, 2023, the Punjab Police said it averted possible target killings in the states with the arrest of three members of the Babbar Khalsa International Terror Module. It is being operated by Harpreet Singh alias Happy, a close aide of designated terrorist Harwinder Singh alias Rinda, along with its two associates identified as Harbeer Singha and Navroop Singh from the United States of America, the Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav in a statement here.
The accused arrested are Jaswinder Singh, Lovepreet Singh, and Gurpartap Singh, all residents of the village of Ramdas in Amritsar. The police have recovered two 0.32-barrel pistols along with three magazines and eleven live cartridges from their possession, Yadav said. Apart from the weapons, the accused also had one Maruti Car and one motorcycle as well.
The DGP said following reliable inputs, police teams from Amritsar Rural Commissionerate, Amritsar, and State Special Operation Cell Amritsar put up a check post in the area of Ajnala and arrested the three accused persons. He said the probe revealed that the arrested accused were tasked to carry out target killings in the state to create panic and fear in the society.
The Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the border range, Narinder Bhargava, said that following reliable inputs, the teams from Amritsar Rural District, Commissionerate Amritsar and SSOC Amritsar laid a special Naka in the area of Ajnala and arrested the trio accused persons.
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Amritsar Rural, Satinder Singh, said preliminary measures and investigation suggested that Harpreet Singh alias Happy had been radicalising youth and motivating them to carry out anti-national activities in the state. The police have invoked the sections of the Unlawful Prevention Act (UAPA), and further investigations are on, he added.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered under Sections 13, 17, 18 and 20 of the UAPA, Section 25 from the Arms Act and Sections 109, 115 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Police Station Ajnala.
What is Babbar Khalsa International?
Believed to be formed in the aftermath of the April 13, 1978 clashes in Amritsar, involving the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and ten Nirankaris, the outfit is headquartered in Lahore, Pakistan, and it operates under the patronage of the Inter-Service-Intelligence (ISI). The BKI is heavily funded by the ISI, and it is currently headed by 69-year-old Wadhawa Singh, according to Indian intelligence agencies.
The main objective of the Babbar Khalsa International is secession from India and form Khalistan, a separate Sikh country. It is well known for bombing Air India Kanishka Bombing in 1985, in which all the crew and passengers were killed, the Panipat Bombing (1990) and the Shingar Cinema Blast (2007)
It is one of the oldest pro-Khalistani groups, which was founded by Sukhdev Singh Babbar from Dassuwal (Amritsar) and Talwinder Singh Parmar from Kapurthala, who migrated to Canada in the 1970s. Over the years, the BKI has spread its network from India, Pakistan and to other parts of the world, including Canada, the US, and Europe.
The group has specialised in targeting assassinations as well as mass killings. It has been involved in killings with explosives and small arms as well. More than 100 Sikh Youths in small batches from the UK, Germany, Belgium, USA and Canada.