– wanted in 10 terrorist cases
– mastermind of targeted assassination attempts in 2013
– based in Pakistan
– brought from Thailand
– arrested at Delhi airport
NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Punjab Police today achieved another major success in its ongoing focused drive against wanted terrorists with the arrest of the Chief of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) Harminder Singh @ Mintoo and his key operative Gurpreet Singh @ Gopi from Delhi Airport on November 7, 2014. The KLF Chief was wanted in 10 terrorist offences and his key aide Gurpreet Singh @ Gopi had been tasked to execute a conspiracy of targeted assassinations of Hindu leaders in 2013 (foiled by Punjab Police) for disturbing the hard-earned peace in Punjab. Punjab Police traced and located them in Thailand, in co-ordination with central agencies. On November 7, 2014 they were brought from Thailand to New Delhi in co-ordination with Thai authorities and arrested at the Delhi Airport by the Punjab Police.
- The arrest of KLF Chief Mintoo and Gurpreet Singh comes close on the heels of arrests of two top terrorists by the Punjab Police – Rattandeep Singh, the Chief of the Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan (BTFK) was arrested from Gorakhpur, UP by a police party of the State Special Operations Cell (SSOC) on September 17, 2014 and top Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) terrorist Ramandeep Singh @ Goldy, wanted in the Rulda Singh murder case (2009) and the Patiala and Ambala blasts (2010) was arrested on November 06 at the Chennai airport.
- The Counter Intelligence Wing of the Punjab Police has started an exercise of tracking the wanted terrorists who are based abroad and in this process, intelligence leads about the whereabouts of Harminder Singh @ Mintoo and Gurpreet Singh @ Gopi were received, developed and shared with the central agencies. An intelligence- based operation was immediately launched by the Punjab Police. For doing the groundwork, a two-member police party including Sh. Rajinder Singh Sohal, DSP/Rajpura and Inspector Mandeep Singh of the Counter Intelligence Wing were sent to Thailand where it camped for three weeks from September 19 upto October 11, 2014 for liaison and co-ordination with the Thai authorities and the central agencies. It was established that Harminder Singh @ Mintoo was using a fake Malaysian passport issued in the name of Gurdeep Singh s/o Sohan Singh (passport no. A22967012 issued in IPOH, Malaysia with expiry date 08-09-2015) and a fake Malaysian ID Card No. 610320086949.
The operation for tracking and locating Harminder Singh @ Mintoo and Gurpreet Singh @ Gopi was co-ordinated by Sh. Gaurav Yadav, IGP/Counter Intelligence and Sh. Ananaya Gautam, DIG/Counter Intelligence. The police party effecting the arrest(s) was headed by Sh. Narinder Bhargav, SSP/Jalandhar Rural and included police officers from district Jalandhar Rural, Gurdaspur and the Counter Intelligence Wing.
Harminder Singh @ Mintoo wanted to strengthen the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) and develop independent contacts with the foreign-based supporters and fund raisers of terrorism. While based in Pakistan, he visited Europe in 2010 to establish contacts and in June 2013 left Pakistan for an extensive tour of Europe lasting 11 months (June 2013- May 2014) – visiting Italy, Belgium, Germany, France and other European countries before reaching South East Asia in May 2014. In South East Asia, Mintoo had travelled to Cambodia, Laos and Burma, besides Thailand where he had established a base.
- In 2013, the KLF Chief had masterminded attempts to disturb the hard-earned peace in Punjab by planning targeted killings of Hindu leaders so as to vitiate the atmosphere in the state and raise communal passions. Punjab Police had foiled the targeted assassinations and busted modules and sleeper cells. A sleeper cell of the KLF was busted on September 15, 2013 with the arrest of 03 persons (Sukhjinder Singh, Narinderpal Singh and Surinder Singh @ Chhinda) and recovery of one AK47 rifle with 20 cartridges, one 0.38 bore Smith & Wesson revolver (made in US) with 05 cartridges and one .45 bore Taurus pistol (made in Brazil) with 03 cartridges. This sleeper cell was controlled and operated by Gurpreet Singh @ Gopi and masterminded by Harminder Singh @ Mintoo (then based in Pakistan). This cell had been assigned the task of assassinating a prominent Pathankot-based Shiv Sena leader which had been pre-empted by the Punjab Police with the arrest of the terrorist module and seizure of weapons.
Another module masterminded by Mintoo was busted in Amritsar in August 2013 with the arrest of 03 persons (Karandeep Singh @ Harry, Jagdeep Singh and Satbir Singh) . This module had targeted a prominent Amritsar-based Hindu leader.
- Harminder Singh @ Mintoo was born in village Dalli, district Jalandhar on April 29, 1967 and in the 1980s his family had shifted to Goa. He had been affected by radical ideology from the very beginning and developed contacts with Pakistan-based terrorist leaders, particularly Wadhawa Singh, the Chief of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI). In November/December 2007 Mintoo got delivered 02 arms/explosives consignment(s) to Gurbhej Singh @ Sonu and Manjit Singh @ Kala (members of the module raised by Germany-based Gurmeet Singh @ Bagga) at Ropar, and, to Sarabjit Singh, Daljit Singh and Amrik Singh of Moga, members of another terrorist module at Chamkaur Sahib through Shamsher Singh @ Shera and Manpreet Singh @ Vicky respectively. When the police raided the hideouts of Manpreet Singh @ Vicky and Mintoo on August 17, 2008, Harminder Singh @ Mintoo escaped and fled to Malaysia from where he reached Pakistan.
- Initially in Pakistan, Harminder Singh @ Mintoo worked with the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), but being ambitious and a good organizer, he developed independent contacts with Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan and Europe and North America-based terrorist sympathizers and fund raisers and planned to raise his own outfit.
He developed independent contacts with the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and the ISI deputed one Colonel Azar (assumed name) to handle him. He was in regular touch with his ISI handler and took his instructions from the ISI Colonel for carrying out terrorist strikes in India.
- Harminder Singh @ Mintoo raised another terrorist module led by Manjeet Singh @ Jeeta for targeting Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and Piara Singh Bhaniaranwala. Manjeet Singh was brought to Malaysia and visited Pakistan where he was imparted arms training in June/July 2009. This module was neutralized by the police with the arrest of Manjeet Singh and his associates.
- Differences amongst various terrorist groups came to the fore after the July 28, 2009 attack on Sh. Rulda Singh when all groups wanted to claim credit. Mintoo decided to revive the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) which was conceptualized in a meeting held in Malaysia in 2009 between Harminder Singh @ Mintoo and his other associates. A 5-member committee was to lead the group with short-term planning of targeting Hindu leaders and ideological targets of the terrorists, including Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh and Piara Singh Bhaniaranwala to gain credibility among the foreign-based funders and sympathizers of Punjab terrorists and to divert them to the Mintoo-led group. The terrorist group was extensively using the internet for collecting funds, attracting recruits and spreading falsehoods and hatreds.
- Harminder Singh @ Mintoo remained on good terms with Rattandeep Singh as, earlier, both were key operatives in the Babbar Khalsa. Subsequent to the parting of ways between Mintoo and the BKI and Rattandeep developing differences with the Babbars, the two came close. Mintoo supported Rattandeep Singh with his infrastructure and the two collaborated in 2010 to smuggle a consignments of weapons and explosives, a part of which was planted in a vehicle in Amritsar near Circuit House in May 2010.
- The following FIRs stand registered against Harminder Singh @ Mintoo:
(i) FIR No. 137 dated 17-06-2008 u/s 121/121-A IPC 4/5 Explosive Substances Act PS Sadar Jagraon, district Ludhiana Rural – arrest of Gurbhej Singh @ Sonu and Manjeet Singh @ Meeta and seizure of 24.5 kg explosive material and 25 detonators – Harminder Singh @ Mintoo masterminded the conspiracy
(ii) FIR No. 126 dated 24-09-2008 u/s 420/471/212/216/120-B IPC 4/5 Explosive Substances Act PS City Ropar, district Rupnagar – arrest of Shamsher Singh and Harminder Singh @ Mintoo declared Proclaimed Offender
(iii) FIR No. 103 dated 28-09-2009 u/s 17/18 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 PS Bhogpur, district Jalandhar Rural – Pak-trained Manjeet Singh @ Jeeta was financed by Harminder singh @ Mintoo- Jeeta arrested– financing and controlling of terrorist module by Harminder Singh @ Mintoo
(iv) FIR No. 07 dated 18-01-2010 u/s 4/5 Explosive Substances Act, 17/18/20 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, PS Sadar Nabha, district Patiala- recovery of fabricated IED near the outer wall of LPG Bottling Plant, Nabha – Jasbir Singh @ Jassa, Harjant Singh @ DC, Pargat Singh and Bakshish Singh @ Baba arrested – Harminder Singh @ Mintoo yet to be arrested – Mintoo masterminding revival of KLF by causing bomb explosions at various places in Punjab and targeting dera chiefs at the behest of Pak ISI
(v) FIR No. 08 dated 25-010-2010 u/s 3/4/5 Explosive Substances Act, 15/16 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 PS Sudhar, district Ludhiana Rural – recovery of IED in abandoned Maruti car No. HR-12 9520 near Halwara Air Force Station gate – arrest of Jasbir Singh @ Jassa, Harjant Singh @ DC, Pargat Singh and Bakshish Singh @ Baba – Harminder Singh @ Mintoo is the mastermind of the conspiracy
(vi) FIR No. 17 dated 21-02-2010 u/s 3/4/5 Explosives Substances Act, 25 Arms Act, PS Sadar Nabha, district Patiala – recovery of 40 explosive sticks, pistol 9 mm with 06 cartridges and pistol 315 bore – arrest of Jasbir Singh @ Jassa and Harjant Singh @ DC – arms and explosives arranged by Harminder Singh @ Mintoo for planting IEDs at various places in India in order to spread terror
(vii) FIR No. 21 dated 30-05-2010 u/s 17/18/20 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 3/4/5 Explosives Substances Act, PS SSOC, Amritsar – financing of terrorists acts – Harminder Singh @ Mintoo sent Rs.2 lakhs to Bakshish Singh @ Baba through Jasbir Singh @ Jassa
(viii) FIR No. 108 dated 06-09-2013 u/s 17/18/20/40 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, 120-B IPC, 153-A IPC, 25/54/59 Arms Act, PS E-Division, Amritsar – A terrorist gang was financed and controlled by Harminder Singh @ Mintoo for committing targeted assassinations of Hindu leaders and disrupting the communal harmony in the state – Satbir Singh, Karandeep Singh @ Happy and Jagdeep Singh arrested – Harminder Singh @ Mintoo yet to be arrested
(ix) FIR No. 83 dated 15-09-2013 u/s 17/18/19 Unlawful Activities (Prevention ) Act, 1967, 153-A/120-B IPC, 25 Arms Act, PS Purana Shalla, district Gurdaspur – raising of a KLF terrorist gang by Harminder Singh @ Mintoo through Gurpreet Singh @ Gopi for committing targeted assassinations of Hindu leaders and spreading communal dis-harmony in the state – arrest of Sukhjinder Singh, Narinderpal Singh and Surinder Singh @ Chhinda – Gurpreet Singh @ Gopi and Harminder Singh @ Mintoo were the masterminds and are yet to be arrested
(x) FIR No. 102 dated 02-08-2014 u/s 153-A/120-B/121-A IPC, 25 Arms Act, 17/18/20 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, PS Bhogopur, district Jalandhar – a Jammu-based terrorist module of the KZF was tasked by Harminder Singh @ Mintoo to commit terrorist strikes in Punjab which would disturb the communal harmony in the state – Harpreet Singh @ Pnitu, Paramjit Singh @ Pamma and Swaran Singh @ Soba arrested- Harminder Singh @ Mintoo yet to be arrested
- Gurpreet Singh @ Gopi belongs to village Khokhar, district Gurdaspur and was born on October 12, 1987. After obtaining a Diploma in Electrical Engineering he left for Dubai in November 2009 where he spent the next 3½ years. From Dubai he went to Pakistan as part of religious jathas and got allured and won over by the Punjab terrorists based in Pakistan. He was given arms training in Pakistan and became an associate of Harminder Singh @ Mintoo. He was tasked by Mintoo to execute targeted assassination of a Hindu leader in Pathankot and raised a sleeper cell of the KLF for the purpose. The sleeper cell was busted by the police in September 2013. Gurpreet Singh @ Gopi remained in contact with Harminder Singh @ Mintoo and linked –up with him when Mintoo reached Thailand in 2014.
- Harminder Singh @ Mintoo is a skilled organizer and his arrest is a major blow to the Pakistan-based terrorists and their ISI mentors. He was the mastermind behind an audacious conspiracy to commit terrorist strikes on August 15, 2014. However, the Punjab Police succeeded in foiling it. The high alert on the eve of Independence Day-2014 was partly due to the planning of Harminder Singh @ Mintoo to carry out terrorist strikes.
- Harminder Singh @ Mintoo and Gurpreet Singh @ Gopi are being brought to Jalandhar and Gurdaspur respectively where they would be produced before the courts of competent jurisdiction for seeking their police remand for custodial interrogation.
Investigations are ongoing.