Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], June 11 (ANI): Punjab Police seized a huge cache of foreign-made pistols near Amritsar on Thursday night and arrested an alleged militant and weapon smuggler in this connection, police said.
The accused is allegedly linked to Pakistan-based terrorist outfits and an anti-India pro-Khalistani element based in the USA, Canada and UK, and was operating on the directions of a USA-based handler, Director General of Police (DGP) of Punjab, Dinkar Gupta said.
"The weapons were meant for carrying out terrorist activities in various parts of India", he added.
The accused, identified as Jagjit Singh alias Jaggu, a 25-year-old resident of Purian Kalan was arrested from near Kathunangal, Amritsar on Thursday night by a team of Punjab Internal Security Wing, State Special Operation Cell (SSOC) Amritsar, Gupta said.
"In an intelligence-led operation, SSOC Amritsar intercepted an i-20 car at a specially laid police checkpoint (naka) on Amritsar-Batala road, Kathunangal village," he added.
The team recovered two nylon bags containing 48 foreign-made pistols of different foreign makes and bores, along with magazines and ammunition from the car.
The cache included 19 pistols of 9 mm (Zigana-Made in Turkey), 37 Magazines and 45 rounds, 9 Pistols of .30 bore (Made in China) and 22 Magazines, 19 Pistols of .30 bore (Star mark), 38 Magazines and 148 rounds, along with 1 Pistol of 9mm (Baretta-Italian) and 2 Magazines.
The initial investigations revealed that Jaggu was being directed by Darmanjit Singh alias Darman Kahlon, a former gangster criminal, to collect this weapon consignment. "Jagjit Singh has been in touch with Darman, at present based in the USA. During his stay in Dubai from 2017 to December 2020, Jagjit had remained in touch with Darman Kahlon who motivated him to work for him," Gupta said.
It has been reported that Jaggu was tasked to collect and conceal the weapon consignment and wait for further instructions for the delivery of the pistols. Open-ended warrants of Darman Kahlon, a proclaimed offender in Punjab has also been obtained, the DGP said.
Darman Kahlon, who originally belonged to village Talwandi Khumman of Amritsar, was involved in various criminal activities in Punjab before his escape to the USA in 2017 to evade arrest. He also facilitated the escape of notorious gangster Harwinder Singh alias Mannu from police custody in 2017. He, along with his associates, mounted an attack on the police escort party to help Mannu flee.
Darman was declared Proclaimed Offender (PO) in January 2020 by the court of JMIC Batala in 2017.
"During his stay in America in 2020, Darman funded a criminal group with an amount of Rs. 2 Lakh in Punjab to purchase illegal weapons for carrying out anti-India activities. Ten members of his criminal group were arrested by SSOC Amritsar and 07 Pistols 32 bore were recovered from their possession. An FIR dated 10.11.2020 was registered in this case by PS SSOC Amritsar", the DGP stated.
An FIR has been at SSOC, Amritsar has been registered with regard to last night's seizure.
Further investigation to unearth the whole nexus is underway. (ANI)