The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today filed a charge sheet against eight terrorists of the banned organisation Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) for their alleged involvement in killing Shaurya Chakra awardee Comrade Balwinder Singh Sandhu at the direction of their Pakistan-based handlers, an official said.
Balwinder Singh Sandhu, who fought terrorism in Punjab, was shot dead in October last year in the Tarn Taran district.
The charge sheet, according to which Balwinder Sandhu was killed by the KLF terrorists, was filed before a special NIA court in Mohali under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Inderjit Singh of Tarn Taran, Sukhraj Singh, Sukhdeep Singh, Gurjit Singh and Sukhmeet Pal Singh of Gurdaspur, Ravinder Singh, Akashdeep Arora and Jagroop Singh of Ludhiana have been named in the charge sheet, the NIA official said.
The case relates to the killing of Balwinder Sandhu at his residence-cum-school in Tarn Taran by two unidentified people.
The NIA investigation has revealed that he was killed with the intent to strike terror in the minds of the people of India, especially those opposed to the Khalistani ideology, the official said.
The transnational conspiracy in the crime was hatched by Pakistan-based self-styled chief of the KLF Lakhvir Singh Rode and top foreign-based KLF terrorists who provided arms, ammunition and funds to the accused, the NIA official added.
Further, a well-oiled terrorist-narcotics-criminal nexus, in which narcotic drugs along with weapons were smuggled by Pakistan-based entities from across the international border into Punjab to generate funds for terrorist acts, has also been unearthed, the official said.
The NIA had earlier investigated eight similar incidents of targeted killings and attempted killings by the KLF between January 2016 and October 2017 in which seven people belonging to specific communities were killed, the official said.
The foreign-based KLF leadership had recruited, financed and armed local gangster Sukhmeet Pal Singh and tasked him to execute the killings through his associates, the NIA official said.
After the reported killing of Harmeet Singh, a Pakistan-based operational chief of the KLF in Pakistan in January 2020, Sukh Bikhariwal was directed by Lakhvir Singh Rode and other KLF operatives through encrypted communication platforms to kill Balwinder Sandhu, according to the NIA official.
The reconnaissance was carried by charge-sheeted accused Inderjeet Singh. Sharp shooters Gurjit Singh and Sukhdeep Singh were recruited for killing Balwinder Sandhu, the official said.
The other charge-sheeted accused are associates of Sukh Bikhariwal, who were instrumental in organising logistics and shelter for the shooters, the NIA official said, adding that further investigation against foreign-based Khalistani entities, including Lakhvir Singh Rode and others is underway.
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