The Indian government has managed to ensure “provisional arrest” of Nabha jailbreak mastermind Ramanjit Singh Romi (29) in Hong Kong, where he is based. He is wanted by Interpol for his alleged role in terrorist activities and targeted killings in Punjab.
Sources say Romi’s interrogation is also needed in context of Referendum 2020 for his alleged links with some of the campaigners. He had fled India in 2016, after he managed to get bail in an Arms Act case by allegedly bribing a DSP and an SHO in Nabha.
Indian security agencies recently established a link between referendum campaigners, radicals in Germany, UK and Canada, some gangsters operating in Punjab and the ISI by tracking online activities of the prime proponents of the movement. “We believe Romi fits in this bracket as he is closely linked with the ISI, some radical elements and gangsters,” said a top official.
The Indian authorities will have to submit their documents substantiating their extradition request before August 17 with the case scheduled for hearing on August 23 in Hong Kong. The authorities had requested for his provisional arrest a couple of months ago “to protect the security and integrity of the state from terrorist activities planned by him”.
As per the state police, Romi was in touch with UK national Jagtar Singh Johal, alias Jaggi, one of the key conspirators in the targeted killings in Punjab. The two were in touch through Harmeet Singh, alias PHD, a KLF terrorist based in Pakistan.
“Paramjit Singh Pamma, involved in bomb explosions and the murder of Rulda Singh, is also involved in 2020 campaign, while Romi was in touch with Johal,” said a top official.
Romi was charged with a HK$32.6-million robbery in Hong Kong in February, but the prosecutors withdrew the charges recently, paving way for his extradition to India. The state police have prepared a 1,200-page dossier to ensure that they get Romi’s custody.
Sources say the charges were dropped following request from Indian authorities. “A team comprising senior intelligence officials from Punjab and Central agencies had also visited Hong Kong to press for early extradition,” they said.
Romi, it is believed, was the point man for coordination between state gangsters and terrorists. After gangsters Vicky Gounder and Prema Lahoria were killed in an encounter, Punjab DGP Suresh Arora had said Romi had helped Gounder procure an assault rifle and that he had masterminded the Nabha jailbreak by funding gangsters in Punjab.