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Babbar Khalsa: Another ISI terror salvo for India

August 03, 2010 14:19 IST

India might see a steep rise of the Babbar Khalsa International, which is operating presently out of Pakistan. As such, BKI will play a major role in terror in India, intelligence agencies have warned. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

Latest intelligence inputs suggest that the Babbar Khalsa International, which was active during the Punjab insurgency in the 1980s, has been using the Kashmir conflict to its advantage.

"We have information that a number of persons who have been causing trouble in Kashmir are from this outfit," Intelligence Bureau sources told rediff.com, adding that the members of BKI have used the ongoing violence in the Valley to infiltrate into the country.

"We have warned security agencies to keep a watch on these persons since it would get out of hand if they manage to infiltrate in large numbers," sources said.

For Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, the BKI is an elite wing and it has been guarding them for quite some time, which gives the indication that they want to use them for bigger operations in India.

It is not a secret that the operatives of the BKI have been housed in Pakistan. IB reports state that there are at least 1,500 operatives of the BKI who have been undergoing training for quite some time now. They specialise in fidayeen strikes and hijacking, IB sources pointed out.

IB sources also said that India must not take this threat lying down since this outfit is being groomed into being the next Indian Mujahideen. It is a known fact that the ISI has been trying to put an Indian face to terrorism, and they feel like the IM, the BKI could achieve their purpose.

The ISI has also made it clear that apart from reviving terrorism in Punjab, they would want this outfit to take care of other northern states, but the main target would be New Delhi, IB sources said.

The recent arrests of Daljith Singh and Purshotham Singh at Mohali and their subsequent interrogations have made ISI's plans clear. Daljith and Purshottam have said that their leader Paramjith Singh, who figures in India's dossier to Pakistan, is holed up in Pakistan and they have been acting on his instructions.

They have also revealed to their interrogators that they have been instructed specifically to increase infiltration and also bring in fake currency, arms and other weapons for terrorist strikes.

During interrogation they also revealed that the ISI has been housing them in camps in Pakistan and they undergo rigorous training along with other militants of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and other groups. Further they stated that they had been asked to set up camps in Punjab and also said that a large number of their accomplices have been pushed into Kashmir to fight alongside the rest of the terrorists.

The IB sources said that for the Commonwealth Games, the two major threats are from the Naxals and also from the Pakistan-based terror groups.

IB does not rule out the role of the BKI, since they would be able to gain easy access as their members are familiar with the terrain and the local language.

Security experts feel that the ISI has managed to forge a relationship successfully between the Khalistani terrorists and also those operating in the Valley. In this regard, the ISI had also formed the Pakistan Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee nearly a decade back.

Under this arrangement, the leaders of the Lashkar were to impart arms training to these militants in nearly 20 dedicated camps at Lakhpat, Chakwal, Gujranwala, Mianwali, Kot, Peshawar, Attock, Shahidan Da Banga and Gulbarg in Lahore.

Another intercept that has been received goes on to the operatives who have managed to infiltrate into India have been told to get in touch with local operatives of the underworld Dawood Ibrahim gang.

The members of this gang have been helping these operatives raise funds, which in turn is sent across the border so that this group can purchase arms and ammunition.

The financial transactions of the BKI have been managed by a person named Wadhwa Singh, who too is currently holed up in Pakistan, IB sources added.

Vicky Nanjappa