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Babbar Khalsa International plans comeback with ISI help

By Vicky Nanjappa
October 10, 2012 16:21 IST
After efforts to resurface in Punjab failed, the militant outfit is making efforts to indoctrinate India-origin youths from US, UK, Canada and Germany. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

There has been much talk about the ongoing efforts of terror outfits to revive militancy in Punjab, especially after the recent attack on Lieutenant General (retired) Kuldeep Singh Brar, the man who led Operation Blue Star in 1984.

High alerts have been issued against two outfits -- the Babbar Khalsa International and the Khalistan Commando -- and the Intelligence Bureau officials say that they have been operating globally in a bid to revive themselves.

The movement launched by the BKI has found more sympathisers abroad as compared to India. The idea is to keep the movement afloat and what the BKI had realised that it needs to generate more funds in order to keep their operations going.

According to intelligence inputs, Wolverhampton and Birmingham in the United Kingdom are the main hubs of the BKI overseas. These cities have been acting as landing points for the terror funds, most of which are generated in Canada.

The last decade has seen a steep rise in the BKI sympathisers, especially after the outfit gave up on the use of violent method to collect 'donations'.    

The BKI may have given up the use of arms to collect terror funds, but a fact that cannot be overlooked is that a large part of its control rests with Pakistan's Inter-Services

A team of ISI officials operates out of Wolverhampton, which looks into the international operations of Pakistan's spy agency. The BKI has relied heavily on the ISI since it was driven out of Punjab.

Over the years, several reports by the Intelligence Bureau and the Punjab police have suggested that the BKI has taken the help of the ISI to re-group.

While the United Kingdom and Canada have active modules of the BKI, another one has been recently set up in Germany. This group sets targets and coordinates operations. The recent attack on Lt Gen Brar was planned in Germany and was later executed in UK, say sources.   

The BKI, which is desperate for a revival, is using tactics used by most terror outfits -- circulating the footage of Operation Blue Star to gain sympathisers. They are trying to brainwash youths of Indian-origin born and bought up in Germany, United Kingdom, United States and Canada.

A similar method was used by the ISI to indoctrinate youths and recruit them to the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

Indian agencies however point out that several attempts by the BKI to revive its operations in Punjab have failed. They are not getting the required support from the locals, who are averse to violence. Hence, the BKI is testing its luck overseas, an Intelligence Bureau official pointed out. However, this too needs to be curbed as they could start creating trouble in other nations, he added.    
Vicky Nanjappa