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Punjab: Major terror plan averted, police seizes a huge cache of foreign-made pistols and arrests a weapon smuggler

19 Turkish made Zigana 9mm Pistols, 9 Chinese made .30 bore Pistols, 19 Star mark .30 bore Pistols and a 9 mm Italian Baretta Pistol were recovered from the smuggler

Punjab Police on Thursday night recovered a large cache of foreign-made pistols and arrested a weapons smuggler allegedly linked to Pakistani terror outfits and pro-Khalistani organisations based in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom. The recovery was made days after the death anniversary of Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

On Friday, DGP Dinkar Gupta said the weapons were meant for carrying out large-scale terror activities in various parts of the country.

Providing details of the seizure and arrest, Gupta said a team of Punjab Internal Security Wing, SSOC Amritsar, arrested one Jagjit Singh aka Jaggu(25), a resident of Purian Kalan PS Sadar Batala, from near Kathunangal, Amritsar on Thursday night. Singh was apparently working at the behest of a US-based handler.

Acting on a tip-off, SSOC Amritsar intercepted an i20 car bearing registration no.PB-06-AN-7016 at a specially laid police naka on Amritsar-Batala road, Kathunangal village. Two nylon bags containing 48 foreign-made pistols of different foreign makes and bores, along with magazines and ammunition, were recovered from the car.

The cache included 19 Turkish made Zigana 9mm Pistols with 37 Magazines and 45 rounds; 9 Chinese made .30 bore Pistols with 22 Magazines; 19 Star mark .30 bore Pistols with 38 Magazines and 148 rounds; and a 9 mm Italian Baretta Pistol with 2 Magazines.

Revealing details of the preliminary investigation, DGP Gupta said Jagjit was directed by his US-based handler Darmanjot Singh alias Darman Kahlon, a former gangster criminal, to collect this weapon consignment. The police said Jagjit got in touch with Darman during his three years of stay in Dubai from 2017 to December 2020, who motivated him to work for him.

Darman, who is the mastermind of this smuggling racket, had reportedly asked Jagjit to receive and hide the weapon consignment and wait for further instructions for the delivery of pistols, the DGP said. He further added that open-ended warrants of Darmanjot Singh aka Darman Kahlon, a proclaimed offender in Punjab, have been obtained.

The DGP said an FIR under sections 13, 17, 18, 18-B, 20 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 120, 120-B IPC and 25 Arms Act, PS SSOC, Amritsar has been registered about last night’s seizure. Further investigation is on to unearth the whole nexus, he said.

Jagjit Singh acting at the behest of his US-based handler Darmanjot Singh

Darmanjot Singh aka Darman Kahlon, who hails from village Talwandi Khumman, PS Kathunanagal, Amritsar, is a history-sheeter and was involved in various criminal activities in Punjab before he fled to the USA in 2017 to evade arrest. Kahlon is also charged with facilitating the escape of notorious criminal Harwinder Singh aka Mannu from police custody in 2017. He, along with his associates, had then mounted an attack against the police escort party and managed to get Harwinder Singh aka Mannu to escape arrest.

In June 2017, an FIR was filed against Darman and he was declared Proclaimed Offender(PO) by the court of JMIC Batala in 2017.

Darman has also been accused of indulging in anti-India activities and supporting pro-Khalistani groups. Last year, during his stay in the US, Darman had bankrolled a criminal group with an amount of Rs 2 lakhs in Punjab to facilitate the purchase of illegal weapons for carrying out anti-India activities. 10 members of the group were arrested by SSOC Amritsar and 7 Pistols, 32 bores were retrieved from them. An FIR was lodged against them on 10 November 2020.

Pakistani conspiracy to disturb peace and revive Khalistani terrorism in Punjab

The arrest and seizure is significant, considering that Punjab is on tenterhooks ever since intel reports suggested Pakistan was trying to revive Khalistani terrorism in Punjab. The reports claimed the opening of Kartarpur Sahib corridor was a part of a major conspiracy by Pakistan to rekindle Khalistani sentiments among the people of Punjab.

More recently, Pakistan tried to exploit the ongoing farmers’ protest in India by fuelling pro-Khalistani sentiments. It even supported the violence that was unleashed by the so-called farmers during the tractor rally carried out on the Republic Day this year when scores of hoodlums rampaged through the city of Delhi.

Even the seizures made in the case points to the involvement of Pakistani Army in destabilizing India. It is no coincidence that the pistols recovered from Jagjit Singh last night are also among the list of arms used by the Pakistani Army.

Notably, Punjab Police has busted 44 terror modules over the period of last 4 years, signifying the heightened efforts carried out by Pakistani-backed terror elements to foment unrest and destabilise the state. Additionally, 283 terrorists/criminals have been arrested, 21 rifles, 163 Revolvers/Pistols, 38 hand grenades, 10 drones, 5 Satellite phones, 2 Walkie-Talkie sets and RDX have been confiscated in this period.

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