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Pastor murder: Sikh extremist groups based in Belgium and Germany on radar

7The Centre has on many occasions drawn the attention of the German government towards the presence and activities of individuals and organisations linked to extremist and terrorist elements operating in India, particularly Sikh extremists.
Chandigarh :  Sikh extremist groups based in Belgium and Germany are on the Punjab Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) radar for the murder of Ludhiana pastor Sultan Masih, 50, who was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants in the Salem Tabri area of the city on July 15.
Following intelligence inputs, the role of sleeper cells of extremists groups is being investigated. Germany is considered a hub of Sikh extremists.
The Centre has on many occasions drawn the attention of the German government towards the presence and activities of individuals and organisations linked to extremist and terrorist elements operating in India, particularly Sikh extremists. The Khalistan flag and photographs of terrorists bearing weapons are openly displayed in many Sikh religious places in Germany.
NO CLUE OF KILLERS YET
However, the police have so far failed to trace the pastor’s killers, exposing its inability to bust the gangs behind selective killings. Sources said the police have no idea from where the attackers came and disappeared after the committing crime. Ludhiana police, sources said, scanned more than 500 footages of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the area and exit points of the city, but have failed to get any clue about the killers.
Be it the killing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Jagdish Gagneja, murder of Namdhari sect matriarch Chand Kaur and other high-profile cases in the past, officials dealing with the cases admitted that assailants did not left any trace at the crime spot. However, motorcycles were used in all killings.
“In Gagneja’s case, the bike-borne assailants entered Jalandhar from the Phagwara side, but in the pastor’s killing, no such clue is there. In both the cases, the attackers have not been caught on the camera,” said an investigator.
‘SERIOUS LAW AND ORDER PROBLEM’
“You cannot withdraw yourself by blaming Pakistan in every case where you don’t have a clue. There is serious law and order problem in Punjab. The attackers are selecting soft targets and are disappearing. It is a failure of the police,” said a senior minister in the Captain Amarinder Singh government.
PROBE ROLE OF HINDU HARDLINERS
Newly elected leader of Opposition in the Punjab assembly Sukhpal Khaira said the role of Hindu hardliners should be probed in pastor’s killing. Khaira, who was in Ludhiana on Friday to meet the pastor’s family, also questioned the role of Punjab Police in investigating the killings of religious leaders. “The murder of Ludhiana pastor is utter failure of the police. Director general of police Suresh Arora is hinting at a foreign hand behind the murder. You cannot get away every time by blaming Pakistan for all crimes in this border state.”

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