The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a most-wanted Khalistani terrorist, Kulwinderjit Singh alias Khanpuria from the Delhi airport on his arrival from Bangkok. He had been absconding since 2019 and was carrying a reward of ₹5 lakh on his arrest.
Khanpuria, who had been associated with terrorist outfits like Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), was wanted in many terrorist cases, including a conspiracy to carry out targeted killings in Punjab, officials said.
He was arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi on Friday, November 18.
The Khalistani terrorist was also involved in the bomb blast in Delhi’s busy shopping centre Connaught Place in 2008 and grenade attacks in other states in the 90s.
In a statement, the NIA said that investigations have revealed that he is the chief conspirator and mastermind behind the conspiracy for carrying out terrorist attacks in India by targeting establishments connected with self-styled godman Ram Rahimi’s Dera Sacha Sauda as well as those belonging to police & security in Punjab.
“Besides, he was also targeting senior officers of Bhakra Beas Management Board, Chandigarh, with an overall objective of creating terror in Punjab and across the country. He had also carried out reconnaissance of some of the targets,” it said.
The case of terror conspiracy was first registered at State Special Operation Cell (SSOC) police station in Amritsar in May, 2019, and re-registered by the NIA a month later.
Khanpuria, along with his handlers and associates, based in India and abroad in different South-East Asian countries, had planned and conspired to commit terrorist attacks in India. He later fled India.
While he was abroad, he first collided with Harmeet alias PhD, and now with wanted Pakistan-based International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) chief, Lakhbir Singh Rode to use his India-based terrorist associates for targeting the identified individuals as well as establishments.
He was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) by the NIA Special Court, Punjab, following which, a Look Out Circular (LOC) was issued and a Red Corner Notice was issued by Interpol against him.
The NIA had also declared a cash reward of ₹5 lakh for information leading to his arrest. He was charge-sheeted as an absconder on November 21, 2019.
Notably, four co-accused conspirators of Khanpuria had already been arrested after recovery of arms and ammunition from their possession, the agency said.