A day after the Delhi Police arrested two individuals over a 'conspiracy' to allegedly assassinate Kashmiri activist Sushil Pandit, the case has been transferred to the Special cell, suspecting the involvement of foreign entities in the matter.
Sukhwinder (25) and Lakhan (21), both from Punjab, were nabbed by the RK Puram Police after they received intel that the two were planning an assassination plot against Pandit, on the social media networking app—Signal.
During interrogation, the accused confessed that they were sent to Delhi on the orders of 'Prince' alias Tutim, who is currently facing a murder trial in Punjab. The duo was offered Rs 10 lakh to assassinate Sushil Pandit. Four pistols and four cartridges and a mobile phone containing a photo of their target were recovered from the nabbed individuals.
An FIR has been filed by the Delhi Police under sections 120(B) and 115 of the IPC involving charges of criminal conspiracy and abetment of offense, punishable with death. Lakhan and Sukhvinder have been remanded to 5 days of custody.
Delhi Police Special Cell has now taken over the case with sources revealing that a foreign hand could be involved in the incident. As per preliminary intel, Pakistan-backed ISI is said to be a part of the assassination plot, with network links to a Dubai-based handler.
The investigation thus far revealed that a person from Pakistan had called up Deepak - alias 'King' - in Dubai and allegedly gave him the contract to kill Sushil Pandit. The Dubai handler then contacted 'Prince' in Punjab, who hired Sukhvinder and Lakhan to commit the crime.
As per police sources, the pistols recovered from the arrested persons carried a 'star' mark, which is usually found in pistols made in Pakistan. As the magazine of the pistol did not fit correctly, the accused contacted their handlers again. They were then told to reach Rajnagar Extension in Ghaziabad to collect different arms.
On the instructions of their handler, Sukhvinder and Lakhan reached the Qutub Institutional area, to learn about the time to kill Pandit. All the conversations between the conspirators from Dubai, Pakistan, Punjab, and Delhi took place on the Signal Messaging application.
As the investigation indicated Pakistan's involvement in the murder conspiracy, Sushil Pandit lashed out at the neighbouring country, saying that it should of ashamed of its misdeeds that are being exposed in the world.
"I never thought that Pakistan, instead of being ashamed of its misleads being exposed in the world and correcting itself, would silence our voices. They are compounding their blunders even as they fight the grey list in FATF, they are walking on deeper into the swarm of criminal Jihad unleashed on us," the activist told Republic TV.
As per sources, the conspirators had allegedly taken offence to the 'pro-establishment' speeches given by Sushil Pandit at the Jawarhal Nehru University recently where he had also highlighted the plight of the 3.50 lakh Kashmiri pandits who had faced a mass exodus in the 1990s. The activist has also been openly supporting the Abrogation of Article 370 that bifurcated the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking on the possible reason behind being on the enemy's hit list, Pandit said, "I have been alumni of JNU since 1984. The university has been a hotbed of a lot of anti-India forces inimical to us as a society and democracy. They often call me there to know more about Article 370, the ground situation in Kashmir and our security because of what happened in Kashmir, and how Kashmir is being replicated in the rest of India."
"I have been very frank and candid in my conversations in JNU. I am not surprised by the deep roots that enemies of India have struck in the JNU campus, that there are such repercussions I am supposed to face as a result. So if they are sighting some of these conversations I have had in open forums in JNU, so be it. I have been doing it across campuses in the country."