Post intel report, NIA probes ISI link in targeted killings

Moga, January 8: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will soon approach Interpol to corroborate the evidence that Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) was allegedly involved in the targeted killings of Hindu leaders in Punjab during the past two years in a bid to revive terrorism in the state.

Sources in the Punjab Police, who are assisting the NIA in the ongoing investigation, confirmed this to The Tribune. They said the interrogation of Sikh hardliners and gangsters, who were earlier grilled by the Moga police, had revealed that funds were routed from Pakistan to radicals in the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, US, UAE and other countries, from where these were sent to India through hawala operatives to carry out targeted killings.

Senior RSS leader Brig Jagdish Gagneja (retd), Punjab Shiv Sena labour leader Durga Prasad Gupta, Hindu leader Amit Sharma, Dera Sacha Sauda followers Satpal Kumar and son Ramesh Kumar, Christian leader Pastor Sultan Masih and Ludhiana-based RSS leader Ravinder Gosain were allegedly targeted by militants with the help of local gangsters.

About two months after taking over the investigations of these high-profile murders, the NIA has also come across reports of Sikh outfits’ association with militants in Jammu and Kashmir. The NIA team visited Jammu region recently. There were also intelligence inputs that the ISI was trying to revive militancy in Punjab by forging an alliance between Khalistani outfits and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Sources said four militant organisations — Babbar Khalsa International, Khalistan Liberation Force, Khalistan Zindabad Force and International Sikh Youth Federation of Lakhbir Singh Rode — were still out to revive militancy. Based on Moga police inputs, the NIA has also confirmed that Pakistan-based Harmeet Singh “PHD” was a key link between ISI and Sikh militants.

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