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Trio was secretly working for creating Khalistan’ LIFE TERM No question of showing mercy to such persons, says judgment

February 13, 2019 04:45 AM

COURTESY HT FEB 13

Trio was secretly working for creating Khalistan’
LIFE TERM No question of showing mercy to such persons, says judgment
CHANDIGARH : The three men convicted of waging war against the state wanted to create Khalistan, and possessed literature for propaganda and inciting people to resort to violence, reads the judgment of a SBS Nagar court, which awarded life imprisonment to them.

HT PHOTO
■ (From left) Arwinder Singh, Surjit Singh and Ranjit Singh
The judgment has created a furore in the state with a section of radicals and politicians resorting to protests saying that they couldn’t have been convicted merely for possessing pro-Khalistan literature. However, the additional district and sessions judge Randhir Verma in his judgment said, “They stealthily declared a war against India. They conspired to overawe the government of India, thus disturbing the normal tranquility of a civilised society.”

The judge observed that “there is no question of showing any mercy to such persons”. “Any mercy shown to them would only result in their indulging in such activities, which would be against the interest of the very community and this country,” he observed while awarding the life sentence.

The conviction order was passed on January 31, while quantum of sentence was pronounced on February 5.

The FIR against the three — Arwinder Singh, Surtjit Singh and Ranjit Singh — was registered on May 24, 2016, on a tip-off. Later, they were charged with waging war against the state and under Unlawful Activities Act. The prosecution’s allegation was that the trio was enticing Sikh youths to join the Babbar Khalsa and wage war against India. The allegations were also that they planned to attack a particular community using guns and bombs. However, no weapon was recovered from the trio. As per the prosecution, the accused were using Facebook and WhatsApp to stay in touch not only among themselves but also with like-minded elements abroad.

The police had recovered 97 books, 198 photographs, 13 photographs related to Khalistan convention of 1978, and 1,000 books on Sukhdev Singh Babbar, the founding member of Babbar Khalsa.

The court in its 64-page judgment of conviction and 8-page judgment of quantum of sentence observed that perusal of material gives an insight into the activities of the accused and the ideology they followed to indulge in these illegal activities.

The court further observed that the accused incited youths to join their organisation by pasting pamphlets for establishing “Khalistan”, besides reproducing provocative and incendiary messages from the leaders of designated militant groups on social media/ Facebook.

‘CONVICT WAS TAKING ORDERS, MONEY FROM ABROAD’

Arwinder Singh, 29, is a resident of Pallian Khurd village in SBS Nagar, and had returned to India from Doha in 2015. As per the prosecution, he was a member of Babbar Khalsa group. He was the one who inspired Surjit Singh, 27, of Batala, and Ranjit Singh, 29, of Kaithal in Haryana to join him.

As per the prosecution, Arwinder after coming to India started working on the directions of Pakistan-based Wadhawa Singh Babbar and Karanvir Singh; Jujhar Singh Babbar (who is in Germany); Gurpreet Singh Babbar (who is in California) and Akalroop Singh Babbar, a British national, through Facebook and phone calls. He was also receiving money from them. All of them are followers of Babbar Khalsa International, an outfit declared illegal in 1967, the prosecution said.

 

 
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