Lambasting AAP leader Kanwar Sandhu for casting doubts over the arrest of a UK national in the targeted killing cases, Punjab Power and Irrigation Minister Rana Gurjit has accused him of strong personal and financial motivation for coming to the defence of an accused charged with militant and disruptive activities.Not only was Sandhu’s statement lacking in substance, it was also a totally uncalled-for criticism of the police and an attempt to undermine their good work in cracking the sensational targeted killings that were aimed at reviving terrorism in the state, said Rana Gurjit, in a statement issued here.Sandhu was merely echoing the words of the anti-national elements who were operating from foreign soil and were clearly using Jaggi’s arrest as yet another opportunity to collect funds for the radicals out to destabilize the state, he pointed out.On the face of it, the AAP leader seemed to be acting at the behest of his financial masters in foreign lands, from whom he and his party colleagues had received money for running their Punjab assembly election campaigns, and probably still continued to get funding, said the minister.That the AAP leaders, including the party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, had been hobnobbing with Khalistani supporters in the run-up to the Punjab assembly polls was no secret, he said. The manner in which Sandhu had come to the defence of Jagtar Singh Johal alias Jaggi, a British National arrested for involvement in the targeted killings, suggested that the AAP love affair with such radical and militant forces was still continuing, he added. There could be no logical explanation, otherwise, for Sandhu choosing to come to the defence of Jaggi, the only foreign national among the suspects arrested by the police, he said.
Rana Gurjit pointed out that Punjab Police had already clarified that it had evidence against Jaggi, who radicalized Punjab youth and was the main facilitator for funds, weapons and logistic support for the terror module involved in the targeted killings. The minister said that there was enough evidence with the police to prove that Jaggi was in touch, directly and sometimes covertly, with the main actors and operatives of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), based in different parts of the world, including UK & Pakistan, for many years even before his arrest.The minister said Jaggi also played an operational role in the targeted killings by providing funds to KLF operatives based in UK, which were later transferred to operatives in Punjab. He was also involved in procurement and supply of weapons to raise a terrorist module comprising militant operatives from J&K and Punjab. If Sandhu has any evidence to the contrary, he should come out with the same instead of questioning the veracity of the police claims, he added.The minister said since the government was well aware that foreign handlers were behind radicalizing youth and promoting terrorist activities in Punjab, it had recommended the transfer of investigation into the recent killing of a RSS member to the NIA, which has the mandate to deal and work with foreign Intelligence and Investigative agencies.
Sandhu’s desperate attempt to protect Jaggi, even though the charges against the UK national were of extremely serious criminal nature, showed that the AAP MLA was ready to sacrifice even national security considerations in order to protect his own financial and political interests, the minister said.On his claim that his conclusion about Jaggi’s innocence was based on his experience as a journalist of 35 years, the minister said a journalist of even 3 months of experience could tell that the AAP leader’s argument was completely fallacious. Just because a person from UK has got married in India does not preclude the possibility of his involvement in anti-India activities, as seems to be the case with Jaggi, he pointed out.In fact, said the minister, there were strong chances of the suspect using marriage as a cover, as any professional journalist would know. But then, Sandhu was never a professional in any sense, considering the way he misused his position for personal gains all through his journalistic career, they added.