Kashmiri activist Sushil Pandit’s assassination plan exposed

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Two Punjab men held with pistols while surveying in Delhi

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

JAMMU: The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested two young men of Punjab for conspiring to assassinate the Kashmiri human rights activist Sushil Pandit and seized from them arms and ammunition including four pistols.
As per the Delhi Police, Sukhwinder Singh (25) and Lakhan (21), both residents of Kotkapura, Faridkot Punjab, while conspiring and planning to execute the assassination of the Kashmiri Pandit activist and a familiar TV panellist Sushil Pandit, in Delhi’s RK Puram area, in close vicinity of the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The plan of assassination, according to Delhi Police sources, was made on the social networking application ‘Signal’.
During the course of sustained interrogation, the detainees divulged that they had been assigned Sushil Pandit’s assassination on behalf of Lakhan’s childhood friend and a murder accused in Faridkot, namely Prince alias Tutti. According to their revelation, which is being verified by the Delhi Police, the duo had been promised Rs 10 lakh each after execution of the crime.
They had been provided with two country-made and two foreign-made pistols, four cartridges and a mobile phone containing a photo of the target Sushil Pandit, the Chief Executive Officer of Hive Communications India Pvt Ltd, DCP Ingit Pratap Singh said while addressing a press conference.
“While they were on the lookout for a rented accommodation in South West District, they were nabbed by the local Police of Police Station RK Puram on secret information provided by secret informer. After the aforementioned recoveries were made from them, they disclosed the entire scheme and conspiracy and accordingly a case vide FIR No: 62/21 under sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Indian Arms Act, 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy and 115 Indian Penal Code (abetment of offence punishable with death on imprisonment for life) has been registered in Police Station RK Puram”, said a press release from the Delhi Police. It added that the case was being transferred to the Special Cell of the Delhi Police in view of sensitivity and possibility of a foreign hand.
As per the preliminary intelligence inputs, Pakistan-backed ISI was suspected to be a part of the assassination plot, with network links to a Dubai-based handler.
Sources said that the conspirators had allegedly taken offence to the ‘pro-establishment’ speeches given by Sushil Pandit at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi recently where he had also highlighted the plight of the 3.50 lakh displaced Kashmiri Pandits who had faced a mass exodus in the 1990s. The activist has also been openly supporting the abrogation of Article 370 and the erstwhile State’s division into the two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh in August 2019.
Sushil Pandit has been frequently appearing as a panellist in the prime time debates of different Indian television channels since 2008. He has been strongly supporting the counterinsurgent actions and political and administrative interventions of the Government of India and also pleading for return and rehabilitation of all the displaced Kashmiri Pandits. He has been seeking prosecution and conviction of the militants who, according to him, gunned down hundreds of his community and forced their migration from the valley in 1990.

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