The West Midlands police in the United Kingdom has arrested three pro-Khalistani persons accused in the murder of RSS leader Rulda Singh in 2009. The three accused who are nationals of the UK have been identified as Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwala, Amritbir Singh Wahiwala and Pyara Singh Gill. They were arrested on December 21 after extradition warrants were issued against them by the Westminster magistrate’s court. They were released on bail with strict conditions after being produced before Westminster magistrates’ court.
Murder of Rulda Singh
Rulda Singh was associated with the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Rulda Singh was murdered in Patiala in 2009. He was reportedly shot dead outside him shop by some assailants. On his visits abroad, Singh used to urge Sikh living in foreign countries to return to India.
Accused had travelled to India to kill Rulda Singh
According to reports, a senior Punjab Police official said that Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwala and Pyara Singh Gill had come to India to murder Rulda Singh. Gursharanbir had reportedly travelled on his brother Amritbir Singh Wahiwala’a passport. In 2009, Punjab police had arrested four people in connection to his murder but released them later. Punjab police has shared details of the case of Rulda Singh’s murder with the the West Midlands police in July 2010 after which Gursharanbir was detained temporarily. A team of UK police had visited Patiala in December 2010 to interrogate the other accused in the case who were lodged in Nabha jail at that time.
Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwala was declared a proclaimed offender by a Patiala court in February 2015. Five others arrested by the police in relation to his murder were acquitted by Patiala court due to lack of evidence.
NIA probe revealed Gursharanbir Singh’s Khalistani links
Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwala was also found to be one of the chief conspirators in the case of targeted killings in Punjab between 2016 and 2017 which included the murder of RSS leader Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (Retd). He was reportedly a key associate of Harminder Singh Mintoo, head of Khalistan Liberation Force, who died in 2018 in a jail in Punjab. Mintoo faced several cases other than murders and unlawful activities. Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwala is also said to be a close relative of British national Jagtar Singh Johal, one of the prime accused in the targeted killings. In September 2018, the West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit (WMCTU) had raided the house of Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwala.
Last month, the NIA had filed the charge sheet naming 11 accused in case of the murder of RSS leader Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja (Retd). Brigadier Jagdish Gagneja was shot dead by some assailants in August 2016 in Jalandhar. Gursharanbir Singh Wahiwala and Jagtar Singh Johal have been named in the charge sheet.