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Ludhiana court blast: NIA files charges against member of Khalistani outfit

Ludhiana court blast: NIA files charges against member of Khalistani outfit

The National Investigation Agency has charged a known Khalistani radicalising operative with abetment of the bombing at Ludhiana district court complex on December 23. Jaswinder Singh Multani, member of the banned Sikhs For Justice group, was detained upon arriving in Erfurt by German officials at India's behest.

Multani is a known operative who specialises in radicalising Sikh youth to join the Khalistani cause. He is charged with criminal conspiracy, waging war against India, as well as charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the NIA's First Information Report (FIR) filed on Thursday.

According to the NIA, Multani and his Pakistani helpers were key figures in arranging the logistics of the operation, which was allegedly carried out by bomber Gagandeep Singh, a former police official. Singh detonated the bomb, consisting of 1.5kg of explosives in a plastic container, inside a wing of the court complex. The blast killed him and injured six others.

Singh allegedly got in touch with radical Khalistani elements during his time spent in prison on drug-related charges. A female constable in the Khattar police department has also been accused of aiding the bomber and is being interrogated.

Several other cases were previously lodged against Multani; two were filed by the Punjab police in February and August, one of which pertains to a conspiracy to kill farmer's protest leader Balbir Singh Rajewal in order to stoke unrest, as well as numerous allegations of using Pakistani help to smuggle explosives, arms and drugs to Punjab.

He is a close aide of the US-based SFJ chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannu. Multani has also been hooked as part of a larger conspiracy involving terrorist activities planned in Delhi and Mumbai. A terror alert was issued shortly before New Year's Eve in Mumbai with intelligence reports warning of Khalistani activity that planned to target VIP and public areas in the city.

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TAGS:NIAKhalistanPunjabInvestigationBomb blast
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