KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28:
Security officials at the border checkpoint in Narathiwat’s Sungai Kolok district are on high alert following reports that a terrorist from India may use the border crossing to enter Malaysia.
The Bangkok Post reported that Jagtar Singh Tara who had broken out of an Indian jail 10 years ago, in 2004, had fled to Thailand.
It said the information was conveyed to Thailand’s Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon by Indian government officials during a meeting recently.
Jagtar had been convicted for his involvement in a 1995 bombing that killed 18 people in Punjab.
He reportedly supplied the car used in the bombing against the then chief minister of Punjab, Beant Singh, who was killed in the suicide attack along with 17 others.
Jagtar is the leader of the Khalistan Tiger Force, one of the Khalistan’s terrorist groups operating in India and Pakistan.
The Bangkok Post said Colonel Jataporn Kalumpasut, deputy secretary-general of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4’s Forward Command, said yesterday he had instructed officials manning the border checkpoint to be on the lookout.
It also quoted Jataporn as saying that security officials believed Jagtar might be posing as a tourist as he sought entry to Pakistan by passing through Thailand’s Sugai-Kolok district and Malaysia.
The newspaper also said that Pol Col Abdulkodey Baunaesa Teng who was inspecting the border checkpoint, a superintendent at the Thai Immigration Bureau, had ordered officials to impose more stringent security measures, adding that copies of Jagtar’s photos had been distributed to security officials.
The Indian media recently reported that radical groups, backed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, had held a secret meeting and jointly resolved to revive terror strikes in Punjab.
They had reportedly started recruiting young men to join the extremists.
The move had been closely monitored by the Indian government following intelligence reports that Sikh militant groups planned to launch the attacks in Punjab and other locations in India.