Chandigarh: The Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a US-based pro-Khalistan group banned in India for its secessionist activities, has claimed that Jaswinder Singh Multani has not been arrested, contrary to multiple reports that said he was arrested in Germany Tuesday for his alleged involvement in the Ludhiana blast.
Sources in the Punjab Police confirmed that Multani was detained and questioned but not arrested.
According to a statement and video issued by the SFJ’s general counsel, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Multani is at home in Germany and the news regarding his arrest was “fake”.
In the video issued by Pannun, he is seen having a video call with Multani. Multani, considered close to Pannun, says that he is at home and that they “keep talking” to the German authorities.
One person was killed and six were injured when a bomb went off in the Ludhiana District Court complex on 23 December. Sources in the Punjab Police said while Multani was detained and questioned by German authorities in connection with the case, he was not arrested and there is no immediate possibility of his being deported to India.
According to investigators trying to crack the case, Multani is a radicalised Sikh and has been working for the SFJ.
“Multani is considered to be the second most important foreign link in the case, the first being gangster Harvinder Rinda, who is widely believed to be living in Lahore, Pakistan and is supported by the ISI,” said a senior Punjab Police officer.
The sources added that Multani was detained by the German authorities following information from the Indian authorities about the possibility of his involvement not just in the Ludhiana blast case, but also in plans to carry out blasts in Delhi and Mumbai.
Denying his involvement, Multani said in the video released by SFJ the that his fight was one of the “pen”, not “weapons”. He said the Indian authorities were trying to defame him and the SFJ.
Last week, Punjab DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyaya had said that the former policeman killed in the Ludhiana court blast had links with Khalistani elements and terror outfits, adding that some Pakistan-based entities could be behind the incident.
‘SFJ believes in ballot not bomb’, Punjab Police probing ex-cop
The SFJ is spearheading a referendum campaign for the creation of Khalistan by registering voters across Canada, the US, and other countries. Voting for the referendum has already taken place in the UK.
“Voting has also taken place in Italy, and next it is due to take place in Germany, and this is a move to defame me and the SFJ,” said Multani in the video.
In his statement, Pannun referred to Multani as a “Khalistan referendum propagandist”.
“SFJ believes in ballot not bomb,” said Pannun, who claimed that he was camping in the EU for the Khalistan referendum campaign.
Multani is from a village in Mukerian in Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district.
His father Ajit Singh told mediapersons Tuesday that Multani, as well as his other son and his daughter, were all living in Germany, that they had had no contact with him, and they had not come to Punjab for several years.
Meanwhile, Punjab Police is trying to gather information about the associates of Gagandeep Singh, the former policeman who died in the Ludhiana blast. Gagandeep is believed to have been carrying the bomb when it exploded in the the bathroom of the Ludhiana court.
Gagandeep, a former munshi at the Khanna rural police station, was booked in August 2019 after drugs were allegedly recovered from him. He was subsequently dismissed from service. He spent two years in jail and was released in September this year.
The police, it is learnt, have questioned his family, including a woman friend who is also a Punjab Police employee. The police have also started questioning the other inmates with whom Gagandeep spent his time in Ludhiana Central Jail, including three gangsters from whom RDX explosive, drugs and weapons were allegedly recovered.
The police have also questioned some of Gagandeep’s former colleagues in the Punjab Police, including two former Khanna station house officers, among others.
(Edited by Rohan Manoj)
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