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Dal Khalsa Leader Thekedar Shot at in the U.K.
By VARINDER WALIA
The Tribune, Amritsar, Aug. 15, 2005
Photo: Manmohan Singh (left) of the Dal Khalsa with Lt. Gen. Javed Nasir, chief of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (P.S.G.P.C.), April 17, 2001
Separatist Sikh leader Jaswant Singh Thekedar (60), head of the parallel faction of the Dal Khalsa International, was rushed to St. Marry Pattingen Hospital in England in serious condition after he was shot at near his house by two youths, one of them a Sikh, last evening.
Thekedar had been declared a Proclaimed Offender and carried a reward of Rs. 50,000 after he was accused of throwing cow parts into temples in Amritsar in 1982. He fled to England via Nepal in 1983.
The Indian Intelligence agencies based in Amritsar and Gurdaspur have sought a detailed report about the incident as Thekedar is still wanted in a number of cases here.
While, Bhupinder Singh Holland, president, International Sikh Youth Federation of Holland, who was present in England at the time of the incident alleged that the assailants were suspected to be hired by Indian agencies. Both rival groups of the Dal Khalsa levelled charges against each other.
However, Manmohan Singh (see picture above), president of the Dal Khalsa, U.K., while talking to The Tribune on the phone, condemned the attack and said neither he nor any of his men was involved in the attack.
He claimed that some of the enemies of Thekedar could be behind the incident as he (Thekedar) had earned many enemies in England.
Gajinder Singh, president of the Dal Khalsa and one of the hijackers of an Indian Airlines plane, had expelled him from the organisation in 1986 for his alleged 'anti-party' activities.
According to Bhupinder Singh, the car-borne assailants, in their early 20s, had signalled Thekedar's car to stop near his house at Huston (England) on the pretext of inquiring about an address.
When Thekedar lowered the window, one of the assailants fired six bullets from his revolver.
Thekedar tried to chase the assailants despite being injured but they managed to escape. Another occupant of Thekedar's car who had come from Italy to meet him, escaped unhurt.
One of the close confidants of Thekedar, Kewal Singh Dhaliwal told T.N.S. from England that Manmohan Singh had recently threatened Thekedar of dire consequences.
Mr. Dhaliwal, however, said Thekedar had identified the assailants and their names would be revealed shortly.