Killers’ handlers traced to Italy, UK, Pak, were contacted for targeting Hindu leaders through facebook

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The Hush Post, Ludhiana: The Punjab Police have arrested the main assailant in the targeted killings, including the sensational Brigadier Gagneja case, taking the number of suspects to five in the six cases involving the murder of seven RSS, Shiv Sena and Dera Sauda leaders.

These are the confiscated pistols and other ammunition from the accused in various cases of targeted killings.

The police have also traced the handlers of the suspects, who were part of a larger conspiracy designed and perpetrated by Pakistan’s ISI, to UK, Italy and Canada, DGP Suresh Arora told media persons here on Friday, adding that the role of the Khalistani Liberation Force (KLF) in the conspiracy was also being investigated. Funding of the module from foreign sources has been confirmed, the DGP revealed.

The fifth accused has been identified as Hardeep Singh aka Shera who worked in cohorts with Ramandeep Singh aka Canadian to execute the murders, using a motorcycle in each case.

While Ramandeep was nabbed on Wednesday, Hardeep Singh was arrested from Bajwa Gymasium in Fatehgarh Sahib town this morning.  Hardeep had fled the country after some of the killings, thus making it difficult for the investigative agencies to connect him with the murders, said the DGP, adding that he had fled to Italy on August 12, 2016, after killing Brigadier Gagneja on the 6th of the month.

The three others arrested earlier had been identified as Jimmy Singh (a Jammu resident who recently returned to India from UK after spending many years there, and was picked up on Nov 1 from Delhi’s IGI airport), Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi (a UK national who got married last month and was apprehended in Jalandhar), Dharmender aka Guggni (a gangster from Meharban in Ludhiana who was supplying weapons to the killers).

Three motorcycles and five weapons used in the killings have been recovered, including the 9mm pistol, 32 bore pistol and 30 bore pistol, which were used in the commission of most of the crimes. A 315 bore (single shot country made pistol), air pistol (Swiss made), and 60 cartridges were also recovered. Air pistols were used by the suspects for training purposes, investigations have revealed.

The motorcycle used in Gagneja killing was thrown in the Sirhind canal and was recovered following the arrest of Hardeep. Preliminary investigations indicate that the international conspiracy to trigger violence and mayhem in Punjab was hatched outside India. Since the international conspiracy was very well organised and executed by trained operatives, and the perpetrators managed to hide their footprints quite well, even Central agencies such as CBI could not crack the cases.

The modus operandi of the accused was to select RSS leaders (soft targets) for causing communal disharmony in Punjab. They performed proper recce before hitting the target. In case of Brig Gagneja, the accused went to Jalandhar three times before succeeding in their design on the fourth day. They always wore masks to hide their identity from CCTV cameras and would destroy their clothes after ever killing. The killers were contacted by their foreign handlers on the social networking sites, particularly, facebook, it has come to light.