Saturday, April 1, 2023

Targeted killings in Punjab: Probe says Rs 40 lakh given to shooters through NRI route


Chandigarh, Jan 23: Investigators claim to have found that a Khalistani separatist module behind the targeted killings of at least eight religio-political leaders in Punjab over the past two years used local handlers to pay more than Rs 40 lakh to the two men, Hardeep Singh alias Shera and Ramandeep Singh alias Canadian, who allegedly carried out the murders.

On the condition of anonymity, officers in the Punjab police team assisting the National Investigating Agency (NIA) said the killers used to get money in parts, between Rs 50,000 and 2 lakh. However, the NIA is yet to reach the conclusion if the persons involved in supplying the money were aware of the crimes.

“It’s a general practice that when NRIs visit India, other NRis from their adopted country hand over money and other things to give to relatives or friends in India. The planners of the killings were so smart that they, instead of using direct transfer to bank accounts or facilities such as Western Union, paid to killers through such NRIs. We are trying to reach the NRIs,” said an officer involved in the quizzing but not authorised to talk to the media.

“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. In one such instance, Shera collected Rs 1 lakh from a person outside the bus stand in Jalandhar.

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Punjabi Khurki
Punjabi Khurki
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