The Delhi police have arrested a Haryana man who allegedly has links with the proscribed terror outfit Sikhs for Justice and had painted pro-Khalistan graffiti on a flyover near the Kashmere Gate ISBT on September 27, days before the G-20 Summit was scheduled to be held in the Capital.
The police said 38-year-old Kurukshetra resident Malak Singh was in touch with Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) chief Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and was told by his handlers to paint similar graffiti near the Delhi airport on November 19, the day the Cricket World Cup concluded.
“It was in furtherance of the threat extended by Mr. Pannun in his latest videos, where he urged Sikhs not to travel by Air India on November 19,” Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) H.G.S. Dhaliwal said.
The police said Mr. Singh was arrested from Kurukshetra on Sunday before he could accomplish the new task given to him by his handlers.
CCTV cameras showed that after painting the pro-Khalistan graffiti near the Kashmere Gate ISBT on September 27, the accused boarded a Punjab-bound bus, the police said.
He got down at Pipli in Kurukshetra, prompting the police to initiate efforts to locate him.
After the incident, Mr. Pannun in a video clip had claimed that Khalistan supporters from Canada have reached Delhi to avenge the assassination of Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was gunned down outside a gurdwara in that country’s British Columbia province on June 18.
Mr. Pannun had claimed that the graffiti near the Kashmere Gate bus stand was painted by them.
Mr. Dhaliwal said Mr. Singh was inclined towards the Khalistani ideology since childhood.
He had met alleged SFJ and Khalistan supporters at the Delhi’s Singhu border during the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s now-withdrawn farm laws in 2020.
Later, he was introduced to social media handles linked to the terror outfit. Contact details of Mr. Pannun were also shared with him, Mr. Dhaliwal said.
He was involved in three other incidents in Haryana, the police said.
Mr. Singh had painted pro-Khalistan slogans in Kurukshetra on April 5 and September 5. Later, he painted similar graffiti near Huda City Centre in Gurugram.
“After painting graffiti, he used to take photographs and videos of it and shared these with Mr. Pannun, who would upload the material on social media,” Mr. Dhaliwal said.