2015-01-06 / .

Thai police arrest former Punjab CM Beant Singhs assassin

Bangkok: Thailand has arrested a fugitive Sikh terrorist, convicted for life for his involvement in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh and 17 others in 1995, police said on Tuesday. Gurmeet Singh - alias Jagtar "Tara" Singh - was arrested in the eastern province of Chon Buri yesterday after raiding a house owned by a Pakistani national, Thai National police spokesman Lt Gen Prawut Thawornsiri said.

A 37-year-old former member of the Babbar Khalsa International Sikh separatist group, Singh had entered Thailand in October. He escaped from a high-security prison in 2004 in Chandigarh before being convicted for life in 2007. A team of provincial police and soldiers raided a house in Bang Lamung district and arrested Singh, one of six Sikh militants convicted for the 1995 blast that also killed 17 others outside a government complex in Chandigarh.

During the raid, officers also arrested Pakistani national Ali Alat, the owner of the house. Alat, 48, said he was not aware of Singh's criminal background. The duo has been taken to Nong Phreu police station for interrogation. "We had been following him for a while, but at one point he slipped off the radar," Prawut said. Singh could have been travelling on a fake passport as the police said the "Pakistani" terrorist faces extradition to India, PTI quoting sources said. The swift action followed a recent request by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju to Thai authorities to help capture the terrorist.

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