In a joint operation by the Ludhiana Police and the Counter Intelligence Wing of the Punjab Police, seven members of the Babbar Khalsa International are said to have been arrested on Saturday. Barring two, all other arrested are said to be between the age group of 18-23 years. Of the rest two, one is a class XI student and the other one is a granthi at a gurudwara and a third one is a minor.
According to inside sources, the group was planning a massive strike in Punjab and spearheading the same was England-based Surinder Singh Babbar, who is also an active member of the BKI. He had approached the group through social media platform Facebook and had encouraged the members to carry out subversive activities in the state, claimed the police. The accused have been identified as Kuldeep Singh, a transporter from Basti Jodhewal area of Ludhiana, Jasvir Singh, a truck driver from Tarantan, Amandeep Singh, a granthi at a gurdwara in Jalandhar, Manpreet Singh class XI student from Moga, Onkar Singh, Jugraj Singh and a minor. Incidentally, all of them are school dropouts from Amritsar.
According to the Commissioner of Police R N Dhoke, "The Babbar Khalsa International was planning to carry out subversive activities in Punjab for which the active member of BKI in England, Surinder Singh Babbar, picked these seven people from different districts of Punjab. He approached them through social networking sites and emotionally provoked them to be a part of the terrorist organization."
He further added, "Though the arrested accused have no criminal background, and they have joined the terrorist organization couple of months ago, they were preparing for a big strike in Punjab. They had also held a few meetings in Ludhiana for the same purpose."
The police have recovered one .32 bore pistol with 20 catridges and two .315 bore country-made pistols with 13 cartridges from their possession. The accused have been arrested from different locations, the police said.