New Delhi, November 22
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested the most-wanted terrorist Kulwinderjit Singh alias Khanpuria, who has been associated with terrorist outfits like Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF).
Having a bounty of Rs 5 lakh, Khanpuria, who was absconding since 2019, was arrested from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on November 18 when he arrived from Bangkok, the NIA said on Monday. The arrested terrorist was involved and wanted in many terrorist cases, including the conspiracy to carry out targeted killings in Punjab. He was also involved in a bomb blast case in Connaught Place, New Delhi and grenade attacks in other states in the nineties.
Investigations have revealed that Khanpuria is the chief conspirator and mastermind behind the conspiracy to carry out terrorist attacks in India by targeting establishments connected with Dera Sacha Sauda and those belonging to police and security in Punjab.
Besides, the NIA said, Khanpuria was also targeting senior officers of Bhakra Beas Management Board, Chandigarh, with an overall objective of creating terror in Punjab and across the country. “Khanpuria had also carried out reconnaissance of some of the targets.”
The case was initially registered on May 30, 2019, at Police Station State Special Operation Cell, Amritsar and re-registered by the NIA on June 27, 2019.
Khanpuria, along with his handlers and associates, based in India and abroad in different South-East Asian countries, had planned and conspired to commit terrorist attacks in India, said the NIA, adding “Khanpuria later managed to flee from India.”
“While he was based abroad, he first collided with Harmeet alias PhD, and now with wanted Pakistan-based ISYF Chief Lakhbir Singh Rode to use his India-based terrorist associates for targeting the identified individuals as well as establishments,” the counter-terrorism agency said.
Khanpuria was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) by the NIA Special Court, Punjab, following which, a LookOut Circular (LOCu) was issued and a Red Corner Notice was issued by Interpol against him. The NIA had also declared a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh for information leading to his arrest. He was charge-sheeted as an absconder on November 21, 2019.
Notably, four co-accused conspirators of Khanpuria had already been arrested after the recovery of arms and ammunition from their possession.