Sikh bomb expert poisoned? Avtar Khanda who harboured Amritpal Singh

Expert bomb-maker Khanda, who heads the London unit of Khalistan Liberation Force, is in critical condition in a London hospital

| Updated: 14 June, 2023 10:23 pm IST
Avtar Singh Khanda (circled) is a close aide of Amritpal Singh

NEW DELHI: Avtar Singh Khanda, the handler behind the recently arrested Khalistan supporter Amritpal Singh, is reportedly in critical condition and on life support at a hospital in London. Speculations are rife that Khanda may have been poisoned.

An expert in bomb-making, Khanda is the head of the London unit of the Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF). He has been a prominent figure within the secessionist Khalistani movement.

Amritpal Singh, leader of the organisation Waris Punjab De, was apprehended by the Punjab Police under the National Security Act on April 23.

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However, Khanda played a crucial role in helping Singh evade arrest for a staggering 37 days, further complicating law enforcement’s pursuit of the Khalistan supporter.

Earlier in March, Khanda was arrested for allegedly lowering the Indian flag at the premises of the Indian High Commission in London, an act that garnered significant attention and subsequent legal repercussions.

Born in the Moga district of Punjab, Khanda hails from a family deeply associated with the Khalistan movement. He is known to have close ties with Khalistani terrorists Jagtar Singh Tara and Paramjit Singh Pamma, the latter being an active member of the Khalistan Tiger Force.

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In 2015, India handed over a list of individuals involved in anti-India activities to the British government, and Khanda’s name was included in that list. He has been accused of training youth in collaboration with extremist organisations, further fueling concerns about his activities and influence.

Amritpal Singh, a fervent Khalistan supporter, managed to elude the Punjab Police for more than a month before his eventual arrest on April 23. He was apprehended at a gurdwara in Rode village, located in Moga district, which holds significance as the ancestral village of Khalistani leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Following his arrest, Amritpal was transferred to Dibrugarh Jail in Assam.

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At 30, Amritpal gained notoriety as Bhindranwale 2.0 in Punjab. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale spearheaded the demand for a separate Sikh nation, known as Khalistan, during the turbulent 1980s. Amritpal Singh, who dressed like Bhindranwale with his distinctive turban, continued to incite crowds with provocative statements, intensifying the concerns surrounding his activities.



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