India seeks custody of fugitive arrested in Hong Kong | 2018-02-27 |

India seeks custody of fugitive arrested in Hong Kong

AFP     27th February, 2018 06:03:14 printer

India seeks custody of fugitive arrested in Hong Kong

Indian police said Tuesday they are seeking custody of a fugitive arrested in Hong Kong who is wanted for a daring jailbreak in Punjab that freed a militant and for a string of other crimes.


Ramanjit Singh, an Indian national on Interpol's global watch list, was detained this month by Hong Kong authorities for his alleged involvement in a local robbery, according to local media reports.


India's federal police had asked Interpol to issue a red notice for Singh's arrest so he could be extradited and tried for crimes ranging from jailbreak to forgery, attempted murder and financing extremism.


A red notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition.


Police in Punjab, the northern Indian state where Singh was born, said they wanted the 29-year-old brought home to stand trial.


"We sent a provisional request through our foreign ministry for Ramanjit's custody after his arrest in Hong Kong," Superintendent Harwinder Singh Virk told AFP.


"We will follow it up with whatever formalities are required by their authorities."


Virk said Singh was arrested in 2016 in possession of weapons and fraudulent ATM cards, but fled the country after being granted bail.


He is accused by Indian authorities of masterminding a prison break in 2016 in which armed men disguised as policemen stormed a high-security jail in Punjab and freed a top Sikh militant commander and four others.


The attackers, who travelled in cars, stabbed and injured a guard at the prison gate and fired several shots before fleeing with the inmates. Two other guards were also injured.


"He was in touch with all the attackers," said Virk of Singh, whom police had identified as the ringleader of the operation that embarrassed prison authorities.


Singh's birthplace is listed on his Interpol red notice as Moga district in Punjab.


Local police say he lived in the northern Indian state as a young boy but stayed in Hong Kong from around the age of nine.