The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested absconding December 2021 Ludhiana Court building blast conspirator and wanted terrorist Harpreet Singh from Delhi airport soon after his arrival from Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia, the agency said on Friday.
An associate of Lakhbir Singh Rode, a Pakistan-based self-styled Chief of the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), Harpreet was one of the conspirators of the December 2021 Ludhiana Court Building blast along with Rode. One dead and six were injured in the massive bomb blast. Harpreet, a resident of Punjab’s Amritsar district, was arrested on Thursday at Indira Gandhi International Airport here soon after he arrived from Malaysia.
The case was initially registered on December 23, 2021, by Punjab Police and NIA re-registered it on January 1 this year.
“Investigations revealed that Harpreet Singh alias Happy Malaysia, an associate of Lakhbir Singh Rode, was one of the conspirators of the Ludhiana Court Building blast, along with Rode,” said the NIA in a statement.
Acting on the directions of Rode, Harpreet coordinated the delivery of the custom-made Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which had been sent from Pakistan to his India-based associates, that was used in the Ludhiana Court Complex blast, said the NIA.
Harpreet was also involved and wanted in various cases, including the smuggling of explosives, arms, and narcotics.
Earlier, NIA had declared a reward of Rs 10 lakh on Harpreet Singh against whom a non-bailable Warrant from the Special NIA court had been issued and a look-out circular was opened. (ANI)
Rajbir Deswal, a retired IPS officer, discusses the various aspects related to the recent killing of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala
The recent killing of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala was a real shocker. The police have pointed at an inter-gang rivalry and suspect Lawrence Bishnoi gang to be behind the killing. This is the initial phase of the investigation and more facts will emerge out later. The Punjab police is very professional and able in handling such situations and I am sure it will crack the case soon.
However, if it is a case of inter-gang rivalry, it is not a good sign for the state. The people of Punjab have previously suffered from mindless bloodshed in the 1990s and cannot bear to witness another round of murders and mayhem.
Inter-gang conflict is a tricky law and order situation. In north India, the gang rivalry phenomenon has been largely limited to cities like Gurgaon or Ghaziabad, and some parts of Uttar Pradesh. Punjab rarely witnessed a full-blown gang war. There have been some organised criminal outfits active in the state but they were never involved in such brazen killings as was witnessed in the case of Moose Wala.
People often blame police for allowing such gangs to grow but this is not entirely true. Common people, out of lack of their trust in police, hesitate to report the extortion threats issued by gangsters or become witnesses in many cases against dreaded criminals. Emboldened, gangsters involved in extortion always look for an opportunity to create sensation to gain notoriety.
Thus the first such instance of threat extended to a target should get the utmost attention and become a priority for the police. I am afraid Punjab Police now have an unenviable task at hand.
Many gangsters also enjoy political patronage which encourages them to work in an unholy network against the law. In such tricky situations, the police have their own ways to deal with it.
I have no hesitation to admit that police also release tip-offs to gangsters against their rivals and intentionally allow the confrontation between them. This way, the gangs finish off each other. Though, constitutionally, this is not the right way to tackle crimes or criminals, the police have to resort to extraordinary measures in extraordinary situations.
Court procedures are lengthy and conviction rates low. Many dreaded criminals related to different gangs are often released on bail. They get involved in the same criminal cycle again. Most of them get killed in gang rivalries or police encounters. The instances of a gang member becoming a reformed citizen are rare.
There has been some disturbance in Punjab of late like the Mohali bomb blast and the killing of Moose Wala. Both these incidents became national headlines. There has been a shift of political power in the state and it seems that criminals and other anti-state forces are trying to assess how the government reacts. It usually happens when the power shifts from one party to another. The people of Punjab have laid trust in this new government and we believe that they will dispense their duty well.
Punjab Police officers who were also recently sentenced for extrajudicial executions, SHR stated that “this gives the relatives of many other victims hope that the judicial system and the State may finally deliver justice for the indiscriminate killings of thousands of innocent Sikh youth in Punjab in what were notoriously termed ‘fake encounters’”.
Hoping for “more substantive progress” under the Modi government, SHR listed out its other grievances: that India has not released any major Sikh detainee, there hasn’t been any government initiative or dialogue over reinstating the international engagement of Sri Akal Takht Sahib and Sri Harimandar Sahib and that “black lists of Sikhs are still in place in some countries”.]]>
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