New Delhi: The Delhi Police has arrested one person and detained one more in connection with writing pro-Khalistan messages on the walls of four Delhi Metro stations ahead of the G20 Summit, officials said on Thursday.
At a press conference here, police said the accused carried out the act on the directions of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the chief of the banned Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) outfit.
Police said while Preet Pal has been arrested, Rajvinder Singh was detained. He will be arrested once he reaches Delhi, they said.
Pro-Khalistan messages — “Delhi Banega Khalistan” and “Khalistan Zindabad” — were found on the walls of Shivaji Park, Madipur, Paschim Vihar, Udyog Nagar, and Maharaja Surajmal Stadium metro stadiums on August 27. A wall of a government school in Nangloi was also found defaced.
A purported video was released by the Sikhs for Justice which showed the defaced walls of the metro stations.
In the video, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun was heard saying, “G20 nations, when you will be meeting in Delhi on September 10, we will be organising a Khalistan referendum in Canada.”
The police said Preet Pal was in touch with Pannun for over a year and carried out the defacing on his instructions.
“They reached Delhi on August 26 and painted the graffiti late in the night. They rushed back to Punjab the next day. They bought the paint from Barnala in Punjab,” Special Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, HGS Dhaliwal said.
Meanwhile, two CCTV clips from a Delhi metro station have emerged on social media where a person can be seen writing on the wall and then taking pictures of it. In one of the footage, two people are seen walking.
On January 19, ahead of the Republic Day, “anti-national” and “Khalistan-related” graffiti appeared on walls in some areas of west Delhi, including Vikaspuri, Janakpuri, Paschim Vihar, and Peeragarhi, police said.
Dhaliwal said that in the aftermath of the January incident, the accused took more precautions this time to hide their identity.
“Preet Pal was in touch with Pannun through the Signal app. Pannun had promised the accused a total amount of USD 7,000 for committing the act,” Dhaliwal added.
They were directed to choose prominent locations and paint the graffiti on multiple buildings so that it could be “sensationalised”, police said.
Two FIRs were registered in connection with the case but these were later transferred to the Special Cell.