A Northern California (USA) multi-agency investigation into Khalistani extremist violence connected to 11 shootings has resulted in 17 arrests.
Authorities arrested 17 people, including Karandeep Singh, Pardeep Singh, Pavittar Singh, Husandeep Singh, Sahajpreet Singh, Harkirat Singh, Tirath Ram, Dharamvir Singh, Jobanjit Singh, Gurvinder Singh, Nitish Kaushal, Gurminder Singh Kang, Devender Singh, Karambir Gill, Rajeev Ranjan, Jobanpreet Singh and Singh Dhesi.
Five others namely Amandeep Singh, Harmandeep Singh, Gursharn Singh, Grucharan Singh and Jaskaran Singh have not yet been arrested.
It’s not clear to the authorities if these men have attorneys yet or someone who can speak on their behalf.
Leaders of the Gurdwara Sacramento Sikh Society told KCRA 3 they were disheartened that a shooting took place during their Nagar Kirtan parade.
This was the first time the religious event took place in Sacramento where almost 10,000 people attended before police shut down streets for hours.
Gurudwara leaders told KCRA 3 that next year’s Nagar Kirtan parade is already set for 31 March 2024.
Law enforcement officials revealed during a news conference said that the arrested orchestrated mass shooting on 27 August 2022, where five men were shot outside a Stockton Sikh temple, and on 26 March, where two men were shot near a Sacramento County Sikh temple.
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said there is more to be done to prevent gun violence as people should be able to live freely:
“There will be more takedowns. There will be more guns removed from dangerous individuals.”
The violence began with fistfights and sword attacks at a 2018 Sikh parade in Yuba City and escalated to a shooting at a September 2021 wedding in Yuba City.
At Yuba, a man was beaten so hard and mercilessly with a traditional ceremonial sword that it broke and the violence soon escalated to shootings.
This investigation, known as Operation Broken Sword, led to the confiscation of 41 firearms from suspects responsible for violent crimes and shootings in Sutter, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Yolo and Merced counties.
According to authorities, two suspects were described as “fugitives from India who are wanted on a number of murders out of India.”
Sutter County Dist. Atty. Jennifer Dupré said that, since 2018, the suspects carried out 10 additional shootings, with 11 men being shot, all of whom were “members of the syndicate.”
Dupré also said that the suspects involved were one group before “one faction broke off, and since then they have been rivals trying to outdo each other.”
She added all of the men arrested are part of California’s Sikh community and the feud was fueled by intense personal connections.
“This started out as one group, and one faction broke off, and since then they have been rivals trying to outdo each other. Mainly they show up places and try to shoot each other.”
Operation Broken Sword investigation was underway when the second shooting took place last month in Vineyard.
Locals often refer to Yuba area as “mini Punjab” as it has a large Sikh community that also has a large presence throughout California’s Central Valley.
Dupré said “it could have been a bloodbath” had law enforcement authorities not arrested seven armed extremists who planned to shoot their targets during a parade. This shooting at the parade occurred afterward and only two men were wounded.
This violence attracted the attention of the Narcotic and Gang Enforcement Task Force, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and various local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.