Punjab Govt Hands Over Seven Targeted Killing Cases to NIA
It was felt that the central probe agency was better equipped to undertake further investigations in the cases.
The Punjab government on Thursday, 30 November, said that it had decided to hand over seven cases to the NIA keeping in mind the possible “national and international ramifications” of a conspiracy behind the targeted killings in the state.
It was decided to transfer the cases to the NIA under Section 6 of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, 2008, as the modus operandi in all of these cases was the same, an official spokesman said.
The seven cases being handed over to the NIA include:
- April 2016: Durga Das Gupta, the president of labour service wing, Shiv Sena, Punjab, killed in Khanna
- January 2017: Amit Sharma, Zila Pracharak Hindu Takht, killed in Ludhiana
- February 2017: Dera Sacha Sauda followers Satpal Kumar and his son Ramesh Kumar killed in Khanna
- July 2017: Christian Pastor Sultan Masih killed in Ludhiana
- January 2016: Firing on a RSS Shakha at Kidwai Nagar, Ludhiana
- February 2016: Local Hindu Leader Amit Arora shot at in Ludhiana
The RSS leader Ravinder Gosai killing case has already been handed over to the NIA. Gosai was killed in Ludhiana on October 17.
It was also found that inter-state as well as international perpetrators, handlers, actors and a militancy angle were involved in the criminal conspiracy, to disturb the peace and communal harmony in the border state, by selectively targeting leaders of certain groups, the spokesman said.
The decision to transfer the cases was taken after a NIA team, led by the agency's director, YC Modi, held discussions with officials of the Punjab Police on 27 November, the spokesman said, adding that it was felt that the central probe agency was better equipped to undertake further investigations in this regard.
They both agreed that the probe needed to be more broad-based as the handlers, conspirators and financers in the targeted killing cases operated from countries such as the UK, Canada and Italy, he said.
Following the decision, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed the police to hand over all the materials related to the cases to the NIA.
The police had recently arrested five persons, including UK citizen Jagtar Singh Johal, in connection with the targeted killings of leaders of the RSS, Shiv Sena and other outfits in the state between January 2016 and October 2017, the spokesman said.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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