CHANDIGARH, Punjab—A day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over investigations in the killing of Shaurya Chakra awardee Comrade Balwinder Sandhu in Punjab’s Taran Taran district on October 16, 2020, Punjab Police today linked the murder to Khalistani activists finally in a suspicious manner.
Earlier, the Punjab Police in the tone of Delhi Police which claimed to have unearthed the whole conspiracy after the December 7 shootout in Delhi, were claiming that two shooters killed the leftist leader and both the alleged shooters—Gurjit Singh alias Bhaa and Sukhjeet Singh alias Bura—were arrested by Delhi Police. The CCTV footage of the incident is also showing two bike-borne men killing Sandhu.
However, the Police Police suddenly have come up with a third alleged shooter, about whom it never disclosed earlier.
In a press release issued from headquarters, the Punjab Police claimed to have arrested the “second shooter”, Inderjeet Singh. He was nabbed from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, hours before he was scheduled to board a flight to Dubai, states the release.
Changing findings of the investigation it did earlier, the Police said, “Inderjeet, along with Gurjit Singh alias Bhaa, had shot dead Comrade Balwinder Singh at his residence-cum-school in Bhikhiwind, Tarn Taran”.
According to DGP Punjab Dinkar Gupta, while Gurjit and Inderjeet Singh had carried out the shooting, Sukhjeet had stationed himself a little away from the spot.
Gupta said, “During preliminary interrogation, Inderjeet has revealed that two foreign based Khalistani activists had contacted him in March 2020 on his Facebook due to his radical posts. He confessed that he was further motivated by them to carry out Comrade Balwinder Singh’s killing”.
“The suspect also revealed that one of his two foreign handlers, who identified himself as Sunny r/o Canada, had initially tasked him to recce Comrade Balwinder Singh’s residence and later helped him get in touch with Sukh Bhikhariwal, a notorious absconding gangster, for the execution of their plan”, he said.
Gupta further said, “Investigation has also revealed that Sunny had provided financial and logistical support to Inderjeet and his associates, before and after the killing. After killing Comrade Balwinder Singh, the trio fled from Punjab and stayed at different locations”.
He said Inderjeet remained on the run and took refuge at different locations in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Gupta said that the investigating team of the Tarn Taran police, which was hot on his trail, received information that Inderjeet was going to Mumbai to board an international flight.
Gupta assertively said, “Disclosures by the arrested suspects have clearly revealed that the entire conspiracy to kill Comrade Balwinder Singh was hatched by Pakistan based self-proclaimed chief of the banned militant outfit, ISYF, Lakhvir Singh Rode, and his Pak ISI handlers. He said Rhode had further tasked Sukh Sukhmeet Pal and Sunny to carry out the killing”.
Gupta said since the investigations of the case are being taken over by the NIA, Inderjeet would be handed over to them once the formalities of the transfer of the case are completed.
The Punjab Police’s new claim leaves certain questions behind. Why has the Punjab Police lacked a clue of this third alleged shooter? The Punjab Police have been investigating the matter for the last three months. Why has it denied the Khalistan angle in this case before its new so-called breakthrough?
The legal experts who are closely watching this case, say the Central agencies of India were already desperate to link it to Khalistan activism and they did it through Delhi Police which is under Central Government of India. The experts assume that Punjab Police has come out with a new theory that endorses that of Delhi Police, under pressure from the Central agencies as one of the agencies took over the probe a day before.