Separatist Group Reportedly Used NRIs to Fund Targeted Murders in Punjab
Khalistan Liberation Force reportedly used NRIs to pay the killers for targeted killings of religio-political leaders in Punjab.
A Khalistan separatist group used Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to pay for targeted killings of eight religio-political leaders in the Indian state of Punjab, the Hindustan Times reported its sources. The NRIs were reportedly used to pay Rs. 40 lakh to two alleged killers Hardeep Singh alias Shera and Ramandeep Singh alias Canadian for two years.
NRIs ask other overseas Indians traveling to the home country to carry money and other things for relatives or friends in India. According to an officer quoted by the publication, those who planned the killings of the Hindu, Christian and Dera Sacha Sauda members apparently used other NRIs to send money for the killers instead of using channels like Western Union.
“The handlers backed by Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) used to share the address (of payer) with the duo through a messaging app named ‘Signal’,” said another senior officer privy to the investigation, according to HT. One of the alleged killers, Shera, received Rs 1 lakh from a person outside a bus stand in Jalandhar. However, it is not known if the NRIs who brought the money knew what it would be used for. The investigators are trying to get in touch with the NRIs.
The two killers were reportedly paid in installments ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakh. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating the matter with the Punjab Police.
The first murder was of Chand Kaur, the wife of former head of Namdhari sect Jagjit Singh, on April 3, 2016, and the last one was on Oct. 17, 2017 of Ludhiana-based RSS leader Ravinder Gosain. One pastor, four Hindu leaders, one Namdhari Sikh and two Dera Sacha Sauda followers were killed.
The two hired guns did not know each other or details until after the eighth killing. They discussed robbing a bank and shared some details that later came handy in nabbing them.
A UK national Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi who was arrested in November 2017 told the investigators about Ramandeep, who could provide only some details about Shera. The police used those details to nab Shera in November 2017. Shera’s family thought he was living in Italy with his uncle.