NEW DELHI—Delhi Police Special Cell is adamant about fabricating Khalistani activists behind the murder of Shaurya Chakra recipient and controversial leftist leader Comrade Balwinder Sandhu. This has become evident from the unwillingness to hand over the key accused to Punjab Police, which is ruling out any Khalistan’s link with this murder from day one, for questioning.
On plea of the Special Cell, a Delhi court has denied Tarn Taran unit of Punjab Police transit remand of two the persons who were arrested by the Delhi cops after an encounter in connection with the narco-terrorism activities on December 7 last year, twice.
Named as Gurjeet Singh, alias Bha and Sukhdeep Singh, alias Bhura of Gurdaspur district, both are required by Tarn Taran cops for questioning for further investigation of the case as it was alleged by the Cell that these are the two shooters who gunned down the left-wing leader on October 16 last year at his village Bhikhiwind in TarnTaran district. It was also alleged by the Cell that “the duo is part of the ISI-backed gang which is trying to revive pro-Khalistan militancy in Punjab.”
Both the accused are in the custody of the Delhi Police Special Cell on remand.
When applied by Tarn Taran cops for the transit remand first time on December 30, the court denied it, citing the logic given by the Delhi cops. The logic was the pandemic situation.
The court agreed to grant the transit remand on January 6, but the Delhi cops again created a hurdle and asked the court to reverse the remand order. They expressed their “inability” to hand over the accused to their counterparts in Punjab. This time, the reason they cited was “farmers protest”. And the court got convinced again.
One of the leading English Daily Hindustan Time quoted a senior police official on condition of anonymity in its Punjab edition on January 9, 2021, as saying, “The Delhi Police filed a plea in the court saying they could not provide adequate force to send the two accused to Punjab due to the ongoing protests. The Punjab cops assured the court that they would provide security during the transit remand, but the Delhi Police refused this.”
It also quoted Tarn Taran SSP Dhruman H Nimble as saying, “We will file another plea as the custodial interrogation of the two is crucial in the case.”
The sources from Punjab Police question that if Delhi cops are not ready to hand over the custody to alleged shooters, how would they give custody of Sukhmeet Pal Singh alias Sukh Bhikhariwal so easily, who was arrested from New Delhi airport on December 31 upon his deportation from Dubai and is alleged mastermind in the murder case. It is being suspected that something is wrong with the theory being presented by the Delhi cops in the matter; that is why they are reluctant to give their custody to the Punjab cops.
The lawyers say that Punjab Police strongly deserves to be taking these accused on remand as the murder case is its concern, not of Delhi Police as the criminal activity has taken place in Punjab and the FIR is registered in the Police station concerned.
Tarn Taran cops are of the same view that they have not found any terror or Khalistani angle in the case. Another prestigious English Daily, The Indian Express, also quoted Nimbale in its story published on January 9 as saying, “Our investigation into Sandhu murder case is still going on. We had unveiled the nexus, but the main conspirator and executors were not arrested. So far, we hadn’t found any terror angle. But new facts have come on record after taking custody of Sukh Bhikharipur”.
As Delhi cops have also linked British Sikh Jagtar Singh alias Jaggi Johal to this narco terror case and murder case now, the SSP said they would also bring Johal on remand. However, he refused to say anything on the claims of Delhi cops about this alleged link. While seeking remand of Johal, Delhi Police claimed to refer to Bhikhariwal that “Johal along with his aide instructed him to kill Sandhu considering him as a threat to the Khalistan movement.”
Delhi Police may have linked Johal to this case just to strengthen their claim that “Khalistani militants are behind this murder,” assesses law experts.
Sandhu, who was awarded Shaurya Chakra by the President of India for playing a role against the armed Sikh movement in Punjab in the 1990s, was shot dead by two unknown persons today morning at his residence at village Bhikhiwind. He was also close to the then infamous Punjab DGP KPS Gill, who was also called “Butcher of Sikhs,” going by his photograph with him.
As there was no threat to his life in changed circumstances, his security cover was also withdrawn by the Punjab Police. However, his family and the people who are still vocal against the Sikh militancy that was result of army attack on holiest Sikh shrine Harmandar Sahib and Sikh carnage, have forcibly been linking this murder to the supporters of Khalistan since day one. His sons were also booked under criminal cases.