Pannun and kingpin Pritpal would discuss Khalistan Referendum over calls on SIGNAL
NEW DELHI: Pritpal Singh, a law graduate and forensics diploma holder from Punjab, was lured by US-based Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun for painting anti-India slogans on the walls of metro stations ahead of G20 Summit in Delhi.
Pritpal sprayed slogans like ‘Khalistan Zindabad,’ ‘Punjab is not India,’ ‘Delhi Banega Khalistan,’ and ‘Khalistan Referendum Zindabad’ on metro stations in Sikh-dominated West Delhi with the help of a labourer, officials of the Delhi Police Special Cell told The New Indian.
Pritpal first came into contact with Pannun during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, when he saw a post on social media about a helpline for Covid patients. He sent the details of his family members to the given helpline number and received ₹5000 against each name through Western Union.
Investigation shows that Pritpal received Pannun’s contact number on social media in the beginning of 2022. When he checked, the number was not registered with WhatsApp. After combing through different instant messaging apps, he finally found it on SIGNAL, an encrypted chat service believed to have stronger security measures.
Pritpal sent greetings to Pannun on SIGNAL and introduced him, but got a reply only after around 15 days. Gradually, they also started voice calling on SIGNAL. They would discuss SFJ’s proposed Referendum and other secessionist activities. Pannun would tell him about the movements of VVIPs. Gradually, Pritpal won his trust.
Pannun would often send ₹5000 to Pritpal, the son of a retired employee of the Punjab health department. In June, he sent him ₹90,000 for the treatment of Pritpal’s uncle Harijinder Singh through Western Union, officials said.
Pritpal, a resident of Dod village of Faridkot, has so far received around ₹2 lakhs from the SFJ chief, as per the police.
In July this year, Pritpal agreed to Pannun’s request for painting pro-Khalistan graffiti on the walls of Delhi metro stations. He recruited Rajvinder Kalu, a labourer working in his office, to execute the task.
On August 25, Singh and Kalu purchased paint in Barnala and then took the Punjab Mail train to New Delhi. The next day, they did reconnaissance in different areas of Delhi and eventually decided to paint the graffiti in the metro stations of West Delhi.
On August 27, they started painting the graffiti at night and were arrested by the Delhi Police a few hours later.
As per police officials, Pannun agreed to pay $7000 (or ₹5.7 lakhs) to Pritpal for the task and paid half the amount in advance.