From Lahore, Babbar Khalsa stokes Dera fire
23 May, 2007
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Pakistan has rushed to fish in troubled Punjab waters in the wake of the Sikh-Dera Sacha Sauda feud, with Babbar Khalsa International chief Wadhawan Singh Babbar, operating from Lahore under ISI patronage, seeking to stoke violence in the state.Government sources in Punjab and here disclosed that Wadhawan, who is on India’s 'Most Wanted' list, has been in touch with radical elements in the Sikh community at a time when the Dera fire have been raging.They also said that Wadhawan had worked on the radical Sikh priest whose Gurudwara near Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda was the catalyst for setting off the clash with the Dera over advertisements featuring its chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, attired as Guru Gobind Singh.Telephone intercepts with agencies clearly bring out the interest of the ISI auxiliary in fanning the confrontation which has triggered fears of revival of extremism in Punjab.The meddling in Punjab has been part of Pakistan's game plan to stir trouble once again in a state which beat back Khalistani secessionists. Pakistan's role in fuelling the Khalistan movement, along with the insurgency in J&K, as part of the strategy to avenge the liberation of Bangladesh is well established.If the restoration of normalcy marked a setback to the plot to inflict a war of 'thousand cuts' on India, Wadhawan's meddling in the Sikh-Dera clash brings out the desire to play the destabilisation game once again.The intent of Babbar Khalsa and its patrons was evident in 2005 when investigation into the bombing of Liberty cinema hall in the Capital led to the arrest of its agent, Jagtar Singh Hawara, wanted for assassination of Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, and uncovered the vast network he had built in Delhi and Punjab.For the authorities, the effort to fan tension in Punjab coincides with the ever-growing body of evidence pointing to the continued resolve of anti-India elements, sheltered and patronised in Pakistan, to persist with their subversive agenda.