They have been charged with attempting to revive terrorism in Punjab.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a case against Jaswinder Singh Multani, a Germany-based operative of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), and his associates for allegedly attempting to revive terrorism in Punjab.
Following a directive from the Central government, the agency has initiated the probe under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. An NIA team may soon visit Germany to pursue the leads in the case.
“This case relates to a criminal conspiracy hatched by Jaswinder Singh Multani with several other pro-Khalistani elements located abroad for radicalising, motivating and recruiting youths in Punjab on the ground and online, through social media platforms, to propagate their ideology with the aim to secede Punjab from the Union of India,” said the agency.
According to the NIA, the accused persons have been involved in raising funds to procure arms, ammunition and explosives by using smuggling networks in Punjab. Multani has also been in contact with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence operatives for carrying out terror attacks in Mumbai and other parts of the country, it said.
On Thursday, the Centre instructed the NIA to launch the probe against Multani and his associates from other banned outfits such as the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) and the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). Earlier this week, the German police had detained him for questioning on the basis of the inputs shared by the Indian agencies about his alleged involvement in terror activities.
Earlier this year, the Punjab police registered two cases against Multani and others, in connection with the smuggling of arms, ammunition and explosives, and an alleged conspiracy to kill a farmer leader to trigger unrest during the anti-farm laws protests. He is suspected to be linked to the Ludhiana court complex blast last week.
The NIA will also investigate several alleged associates of Multani, including Jagdish Singh Bhura of the KZF, his deputy Gurmeet Singh, who is also associated with the SFJ; Ranjeet Singh Pakhoke of the KTF; Sukhdev Singh Heran and Hardeep Singh Nijjar of Babbar Khalsa International; and Paramjit Singh Pamma and Ranjeet Singh Neeta, both from the KTF.
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