The Punjab Police on Thursday arrested the second shooter involved in the killing of Shaurya Chakra awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu last year.
Sandhu, 62, was shot dead by two unidentified men on October 16 morning last year at his residence-cum-school in Punjab's Tarn Taran district.
The suspect identified as Inderjeet Singh was nabbed on Thursday from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, hours before he was scheduled to board a flight to Dubai, Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said.
Inderjeet, along with Gurjit Singh alias Bhaa, had allegedly shot dead Sandhu at his residence-cum-school in Bhikhiwind, Tarn Taran.
DGP Gupta said Gurjit Singh had been arrested by the Delhi police on December 7 along with his associate, Sukhjeet Singh alias Bura.
He said while Gurjit and Inderjeet had carried out the shooting, Sukhjeet had stationed himself a little away from the spot.
The DGP said during preliminary interrogation, Inderjeet revealed that two foreign-based Khalistani activists had contacted him in March 2020 on his Facebook due to his radical posts.
He confessed that he was further motivated by them to carry out Balwinder Singh Sandhu's killing, Gupta claimed in a statement in Chandigarh.
The suspect revealed that one of his two foreign handlers, who identified himself as Sunny, a resident of Canada, had initially tasked him to recce Sandhu's residence and later helped him get in touch with Sukh Bhikhariwal, a notorious absconding gangster, for the execution of their plan.
Gupta said the investigation also revealed that Sunny had provided financial and logistical support to Inderjeet and his associates, before and after the killing.
The DGP said after killing Sandhu, the trio fled from Punjab and stayed at different locations.
While Gurjit and Sukhjeet were nabbed by the Delhi police in December last year, Inderjeet remained on the run and took refuge at different locations in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, said the DGP.
Gupta said the investigating team of the Tarn Taran police, which was hot on his trail, received a tip-off that Inderjeet was going to Mumbai to board an international flight.
Inderjeet also confessed that he was called to Mumbai on January 25 by Sunny, who had arranged his e-VISA and a flight ticket to Dubai.
Gupta said the involvement of Gurjit and Sukhjeet in the shootout had been revealed after the arrest of Sukhraj Singh alias Sukha and Ravinder Singh alias Gyaan, both residents of Gurdaspur, and Akashdeep Arora of Ludhiana last year.
The duo had also disclosed the name of Sukhmeet Pal Singh alias Sukh, who had helped them in the planning and execution of the killing.
Gupta said disclosures by the arrested suspects have clearly revealed that the entire conspiracy to kill Sandhu was hatched by Pakistan-based Khalistani terrorist Lakhvir Singh Rode, and his Inter-Services Intelligence handlers.
He said Rode had further tasked Sukh Sukhmeet Pal and Sunny to carry out the killing.
Gupta said since the investigation of the case is being taken over by the National Investigation Agency, Inderjeet would be handed over to them once the formalities of the transfer of the case are complete.
The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday had taken over the probe in the murder case of Sandhu.
During the peak of terrorism in Punjab, Sandhu and his family had fearlessly fought terrorists. For this fearless fight, the government of India had awarded him 'Shaurya Chakra' in 1993.
Besides Sandhu and Kaur, his elder brother Ranjit Singh and his wife Balraj Kaur had also received the Shaurya Chakra.