- The National Investigation Agency has filed a case against Jaswinder Singh Multani, a member of the banned Khalistani outfit Sikhs for Justice.
- One of the cases involves a rumored plot to assassinate farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal to foment unrest.
As per the people familiar with the matter, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a case against Jaswinder Singh Multani, a member of the banned Khalistani outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and the prime suspect in the December 23 Ludhiana court blast, as well as others, as part of an investigation into a larger conspiracy for attacks in Indian cities.
German authorities detained Multani in Erfurt, central Germany, at India’s request, earlier this week. According to the officials cited above, Multani, 45, was charged with criminal conspiracy, waging war against India, and violating the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the NIA’s First Information Report (FIR) filed on Thursday.
In the blast on December 23 at the districts and sessions court complex in Ludhiana, alleged bomber Gagandeep Singh, a dismissed policeman, was killed, and six others were injured. According to preliminary investigations, 1.5 kilograms of explosives were assembled in a plastic container to carry out the blast. In the last few months, agencies looked into some international calls made from Singh’s phone.
The blast is thought to have been carried out at Multani’s request, with Multani allegedly arranging the logistics remotely with the help of his Pakistani contacts.
Multani was previously investigated for terror-related incidents in Punjab this year and allegedly sent weapons, explosives, drugs, pistols, and hand grenades through Pakistani operatives. Multani, a close associate of SFJ chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannu in the United States, is an expert in radicalizing Sikh youth to participate in extremist activities.
Multani was charged twice by the Punjab police in February and August. One of the cases involves a rumored plot to assassinate farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal to foment unrest.
Multani and his Pakistani associates were thought to be planning attacks on Delhi and Mumbai as well.