SFJ member Multani arrested in Germany over Ludhiana court blast
The police in Germany have reportedly arrested Jaswinder Singh Multani, a prominent member of the banned outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), for his alleged involvement in a blast in a Ludhiana court last week. The pro-Khalistan radical was also purportedly planning to carry out terrorist activities in Delhi, Mumbai, and poll-bound Punjab. His arrest was reportedly the result of India's diplomatic pressure on Germany.
Why does it matter?
- A resident of Erfurt, Germany, Multani (45) is a close associate of SFJ founder Gurpatwant Singh Pannu and is reportedly involved in separatist activities.
- He also allegedly has close links with Pakistan and has been involved in cross-border smuggling of arms and ammunition into Punjab.
- His arrest came after a bomb blast in the Ludhiana court complex triggered an alarm.
Multani arrested after India's diplomatic efforts: Report
German police arrested Multani after over 72 hours of hectic diplomacy between the nation's administration and the Indian government, Hindustan Times reported. New Delhi reportedly also told Germany that it would hold the country accountable if any bomb blast took place in Mumbai or Delhi. The Indian government had reportedly provided actionable intelligence to the German embassy in Delhi.
Multani being interrogated by German police
Reportedly, Indian authorities had received input about an impending terror strike on Mumbai. Multani had reportedly been able to send explosives to Mumbai with a terror team being assembled for the strike. Currently, the SFJ radical is being interrogated by the German Federal Police. Indian security agencies and the Ministry of External Affairs are completely tight-lipped on the matter.
How did Indian diplomats secure Multani's arrest?
Indian Embassy officials were recalled from their Christmas holidays by top MEA officials to ensure that German authorities understood the gravity of the matter. Indian officials in Bonn were also tasked with convincing the German Federal Police about the urgency of the matter.
Multani's activities in India didn't slip authorites' notice
Multani came under the radar of security agencies for arranging and sending weapon consignment from across the border with the help of his Pakistan-based operatives. These include explosives, grenades, and pistols. Multani also allegedly radicalized one Jevaan Singh on social media to target farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal. He had also arranged two hand grenades for criminal activities for a man in Tarn Taran.
Police suspect Multani's involvement in Ludhiana blast
Earlier on Saturday, the investigation by the security agencies and Punjab Police into the Ludhiana session court blast had found the involvement of Multani. One person was killed and at least five persons were injured in a blast in the Ludhiana court complex on December 23. Multani was tasked with destabilizing the poll-bound state and helping the fissiparous forces, the police reportedly said.