The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested two gunmen from Punjab on charges of planning to murder a Kashmiri activist, Sushil Pandit. The duo was arrested from Venkateshwara Road near RK Puram. The Delhi Police Special Cell later interrogated them.
Deputy Commissioner of Police for Southwest Delhi Devender Arya said Sukhvinder Singh, 25, and Lakhan, 21, were arrested in RK Puram on Saturday. According to the Delhi Police, during their interrogation, they told the police that a man identified as ‘Prince’ from Faridkot had hired them to kill Kashmiri activist Sushil Pandit. They were reportedly paid Rs 10 lakhs each for bumping off the activist.
Two pistols, two country-made guns and four live cartridges were recovered from the duo, the police said. The two arrested men were communicating on the Signal app to avoid detection. The police also added that the duo had planned to take down the activist near Qutub Institutional Area in New Delhi. In addition to the arrested men, two women are also suspected to be involved in the plot and attempts are underway to nab them.
The police have booked the duo for abetting an offence punishable with death or life term (Section 115) under the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act.
Sushil Pandit is a Kashmiri activist based out of New Delhi. He has been vocal about issues pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir and has steadfastly supported the government’s decision to abrogate Article 370. According to the sources cited by Republic TV, plotters were reportedly miffed with the ‘pro-establishment’ speeches given by Sushil Pandit at the Jawarhal Nehru University recently where he had also spoken about the plight of the 3.50 lakh Kashmiri pandits who had to leave Kashmir in the face of mounting threats posed by Islamists during the 1990s.
Journalist Aditya Raj Kaul claims he was threatened by Khalistani elements last year
Following the arrests made by Delhi Police, Kashmiri journalist Aditya Raj Kaul took to Twitter to place on record a threat he had received last year by Khalistani elements based abroad. Kaul, who is a Kashmiri Pandit, urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to immediately provide security to prominent Kashmiri Pandit activists as per security protocol or threat analysis.
In a string of tweets, Kaul revealed that in 2020, his former boss and a journalist with an international news agency in New Delhi were called from an unidentified foreign number and given his name and asked to convey to him that he should mend his ways or face consequences.
Last year my former boss and a journalist with an international news agency in New Delhi were called from an unidentified foreign number and given my name and asked to convey that I should mend my ways or face consequences. I thought this is merely propaganda. Clearly, it isn’t.— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) February 27, 2021
Kaul further mentioned that he had shared the details of the incident with MHA, Delhi Police, and subsequently with the UP Police. Though the number was untraceable, the voice was identified as belonging to a known terror group, Kaul added.
Kaul, too, has been a vocal supporter of the measures initiated by the Modi government to snuff out the menace of Islamist terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and has not shied away from criticising the Kashmiri separatists and anti-India forces.