Mohali (Punjab) [India], April 28 (ANI): National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday filed a charge-sheet against eight terrorists of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) for the murder of Shaurya Chakra Awardee Comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu in Punjab's Tarn Taran in October 2020.
The charge-sheet was filed in the NIA Special Court, Mohali, Punjab inter-alia under sections 120B, 201, 212 and 302 of IPC, Sections 25(1B) and 27 of Arms Act and Sections 16, 17, 18, 18B, 20, 23, 38, 39 and 40 of UA (P) Act against accused named Sukhraj Singh, Ravinder Singh, Akashdeep Arora, Jagroop Singh, Sukhdeep Singh, Gurjit Singh, Inderjit Singh, and Sukhmeet Pal Singh.
Notably, the case relates to the killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh on October 16, 2020, at his residence-cum-school in Bhikhiwind of Tarn Taran district by two unidentified persons was registered on the same day by Punjab Police at Bhikhiwind police station. NIA had re-registered the case on January 26, and taken up the investigation.
NIA in a statement said that its investigation has revealed that killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu was executed with the intent to strike terror in the minds of people of India and especially those opposed to Khalistani ideology.
"The transnational conspiracy in the instant crime was hatched by Pakistan based self-styled chief of KLF Lakhvir Singh Rode and top foreign-based KLF terrorists who provided arms and ammunitions and funds to the accused persons. Further, a well-oiled Terrorist-Narcotics-Criminal nexus wherein narcotic drugs along with weapons were smuggled by Pakistan based entities from across the International Border in Punjab for generation of funds for executing terrorist acts has also been unearthed," the investigation agency said.
NIA said it had earlier investigated eight similar incidents of targeted killings or attempted killings by KLF between January 2016 and October 2017, wherein seven persons belonging to specific communities were killed.
"Investigation has established that foreign-based KLF leadership had recruited, financed and armed a local gangster Sukhmeet Pal Singh aka Sukh Bikhariwal and tasked him to execute the killings through his associates. After the reported killing of Harmeet Singh aka Happy aka PHD, Pakistan based Operational chief of KLF in Pakistan in Jan 2020, Sukh Bikhariwal was directed by Lakhvir Singh Rode and other KLF operatives through encrypted communication platforms to kill Comrade Balwinder Singh," it said.
NIA added that the reconnaissance of the target was carried by charge-sheeted accused Inderjeet Singh and sharpshooters Gurjit Singh and Sukhdeep Singh were recruited for killing Comrade Sandhu.
"The other charge-sheeted accused are associates of Sukh Bikhariwal who were instrumental in organizing logistics and shelter to the shooters. The further investigation against foreign-based Khalistani entities including Lakhvir Singh Rode and others continues in underway," it added. (ANI)