Almost two months after pro-Khalistan graffiti was found on a flyover here, Delhi Police’s Special Cell has arrested a 38-year-old man from Haryana, officials said on Tuesday.
The accused has been identified as Malak Singh alias Malik, a resident of Kurukshetra in Haryana, they said.
He painted the graffiti in Delhi and other parts of the country at the behest of Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the chief of banned organisation Sikhs for Justice, police said.
On September 27, 2023, multiple pro-Khalistan graffiti mentioning “Delhi banega Khalistan SFJ” and “Khalistan Zindabad SFJ” were found sprayed under and over Yudhister Setu, Kashmere Gate, a senior police officer said.
Later, a video also appeared over the internet where Pannun claimed that Khalistani Sikhs from Canada have reached Delhi to target the Parliament House to avenge the assassination of Nijjar, and various graffiti have been sprayed in Delhi, the officer said.
“During investigation, a person wearing a turban was spotted near the spots. The suspect boarded a Punjab-bound bus and de-boarded it at Pipli, Kurukshetra. Later, the alleged person was identified as Malak Singh.
“On Sunday, police arrested Singh who was involved in the painting of graffiti on the walls of Yudhister Setu, near the Kashmere Gate Metro Station on the direction of SFJ handler Pannun,” Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) HGS Dhaliwal said.
He was also involved in three other incidents of pro-Khalistan graffiti in Haryana before the G-20 Summit, Dhaliwal said.
Singh inclined towards Khalistan ideology since childhood. In 2018, after the announcement of Referendum 2020 by Pannun, he started following SFJ videos and messages, police said.
During the farmers’ agitation in 2020, he came to the Singhu Border, where he came into contact with sympathisers of the SFJ and Khalistan, from whom he came to know about various Youtube channels, social media IDs and mobile numbers of Pannun, and other SFJ and Khalistan sympathisers, Dhaliwal said.
Later, he came in contact with Pannun and started discussing the Khalistan movement and the referendum. Gradually, he won Pannun’s trust, and then, as per the directions of Pannun, Singh painted “Khalistan welcome G20 in Delhi” on April 5 in Kurukshetra. Later on September 5, he painted “G 20, Punjab is not part of India, SFJ” at Kurukshetra railway station, they said.
Just before the G-20 Summit, Singh wrote, “G20 Punjab is not India Khalistan Referendum SFJ zindabad” on a Kesari flag and placed it near the HUDA City Centre, Gurugram, Haryana. The final one came on September 27 near Kashmere Gate ISBT, police said.
He took photos and videos of the slogans and sent to Pannun, which were later uploaded by the SJF chief on various social media platforms. He also destroyed digital evidence by erasing the data of the mobile phone used for making photos and videos of the said graffiti, police said.
During the analysis of Singh’s mobile phones, it was found that he was directed to paint pro-Khalistan slogans at Delhi Airport and other government buildings in the national capital on November 19 when the final match of the ODI Cricket World Cup was being played, Dhaliwal said.
Pannun had also extended threat in his latest videos in which he urged Sikhs not to travel by Air India flight on November 19. Pannun also referred to the final match of the Cricket World Cup in those videos, police added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)