The Punjab Police and Maharashtra ATS have arrested a man from Nanded, Maharashtra, for allegedly plotting to murder a Shiv Sena leader in Punjab and revive militancy in the state. The suspect, 30-year-old college dropout Satnam Singh Gill, was arrested in Miraj in Sangli district on September 10.
Satnam’s arrest followed the arrest, five days earlier, of a group of seven youth by Punjab Police, all of whom were allegedly part of the terror module that Satnam headed.
The seven youth, arrested on September 5, have been identified as Karamjeet Singh, Jatinder Singh, Sarwan Singh, Dharam Singh, Rana Pratap Singh, Labh Singh and Kashmir Singh, all of whom belong to the Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran districts of Punjab.
Following Satnam’s interrogation, police arrested another five suspects, identified as Harwinder Singh of Jagraon, Maninderjit Singh and Tarandeep Singh of Gurdaspur, Tejinder Singh of Haryana and Bachitar Singh of Tarn Taran.
According to police, this alleged terror module had been radicalised by banned organisations based overseas using tools like Facebook and WhatsApp. The Fategarh Sahib police have registered a case under sections 153A and 120B of the IPC and the Arms Act. Police have claimed to have recovered 10 firearms including an AK-47 rifle.
Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan told The Indian Express by phone, “Satnam never visited any foreign country. But he has a couple of Facebook profiles in which he shared his views, posted comments and photographs on a particular subject. These were spotted and liked by terror operatives in foreign countries who started online interactions with Satnam and slowly radicalised him.”
According to Chauhan, “Satnam was instrumental in organising the youth, mainly hailing from border districts of Punjab. Most of these youths have their individual social networking IDs and posted content in English and Punjabi. Satnam held meetings of these youths on the anniversary of Operation Bluestar and on other occasions.”
Chauhan said the module wanted to assassinate a Shiv Sena president of a district in Punjab, who they believed was responsible for the death of a Sikh youth during an agitation in the state. According to police, the module was