Chandigarh: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Tuesday that The targeted killings of religious leaders in Punjab are not isolated incidents but part of a conspiracy hatched by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The police have solved seven out of the eight cases of targeted killings; include the sensational murder of RSS leader Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (retd) in Jalandhar last year, with the arrest of the four people, Singh said.
The government had been facing criticism from not just the Opposition but also from within the ruling party over its failure to prevent the targeted killings of religious leaders. The Gagneja case has been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
CM said: “There was a major conspiracy to fan communal disturbances and destabilise the state, hatched by the ISI in Pakistan and other countries. The interrogation of the four conspirators showed they had met and been trained in various places abroad and had been using encrypted mobile software/ apps for communication with handlers based in Pakistan and some western countries. The arrests endorsed the suspicions of a growing nexus between radicals and gangsters.”
Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said the murders that took place in Ludhiana, Khanna and Jalandhar since January 2016 were connected and carried out by the same gang. “Similar weapons were used in all the eight cases —standard 9mm, .32 and .30 bore pistols,” the DGP said.
He identified three of the suspects as Jimmy Singh , a Jammu resident who recently returned to India from UK after spending many years there and was picked up a week ago from Delhi’s IGI airport; Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi, a UK national who got married just last month and was apprehended in Jalandhar, and Dharmender alias Guggni, a gangster from Meharban in Ludhiana, who Arora said was supplying weapons to the killers.