New Delhi. A day after the NIA Special Court, Mohali, declared Arshdeep Singh Dalla a Proclaimed Offender in a targeted killing conspiracy case, the agency on Tuesday raided several premises, connected with associates of the Canada-based ‘individual designated terrorist’, in Punjab and Haryana.
The searches were conducted at 10 locations at the premises of associates of Dalla and his close aide and absconder, Manpreet Singh alias Peeta, currently living in the Philippines in a case registered suo-moto by NIA on 20th August, 2022. Several incriminating materials, including digital devices, were seized during raids, conducted as part of NIA’s crackdown on ‘individual terrorists’ and terrorist outfits engaged in criminal/terrorist activities in India. A total of six accused have so far been arrested in the case.
The case relates to the terror activities of proscribed terrorist organisations, such as Khalistan Liberation Force, Babbar Khalsa International, International Sikh Youth Federation, Khalistan Tiger Force etc. Such activities include smuggling of terrorist hardware, such as arms, ammunition explosive, IEDs etc. across international borders. The smuggled goods are for use by operatives/ members of terror outfits and organised criminal gangs operating in various parts of the country for carrying out terrorist acts like bomb explosions, targeted killings etc.
NIA investigations have revealed that Dalla, as well as his associates based in different countries including Manpreet Peeta in the Philippines, are continuously recruiting new cadres in India to carry out the activities of the banned terrorist organisation Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF). They are raising funds for the banned terrorist organisation through extortion and other means, and carrying out smuggling of arms, ammunition and explosives from across the border.
Dalla was declared a ‘listed terrorist’ under the UAPA in January this year through a notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India. He is accused of various offences, including targeted killings, attempted murder and extortion for raising funds for terrorist activities.
The raids came a day after Dalla was declared a PO in a case relating to a conspiracy to kill a Hindu priest at Jalandhar, Punjab. Kamaldeep Sharma, a priest at a temple located on main road of village Bharsinghpur in Phillaur, was attacked on 31st January, 2021. Dalla was a key conspirator in the case, planned by KTF’s self-styled chief Hardeep Nijjar, a native of the priest’s village. Nijjar, currently based in Canada, was also designated as an ‘individual terrorist’ by the MHA in July 2020.
Nijjar, who is the Head/President of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, Canada, has been proactively involved in recruiting, training, financing and operationalising pro-Khalistan terrorist modules for spreading terror in India. He is involved in giving inflammatory & hateful speeches through social media platforms. NIA has attached Nijjar’s property in the same village in another case.
It was on the directions of Nijjar, who is associated with the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) too, that Dalla had recruited Kamaljeet Sharma and Ram Singh, the two assailants of the priest. Dalla was also arranging weapons for the shooters and sending terror funds through various MTSS channels, besides extorting funds from various business entities in Punjab. He was engaged in promoting terror activities of the proscribed KTF, which is also involved in kidnaping and killing people of other faiths to spread fear and disharmony in Punjab.
The priest’s attack case was initially registered at Police Station Phillaur. It was subsequently taken over by NIA and re-registered 8th October, 2021. NIA had filed two chargesheets in the case and a non-bailable warrant was issued on 1st July, 2022 against Dalla by the NIA Special Court. Later, on 31st May, 2022, Red Corner Notice (RCN) was issued by CBI-India, Interpol, following which the NIA Special Court initiated proceedings against him u/s 82 CrPC and declared him a P.O after he failed to appear/surrender before it.