For 34-year-old Manjeet Kaur, news of Sarabpreet Singh’s arrest has come as a great shock. But then, she had no clue that he had alleged links to the Babbar Khalsa International. To her, he was just an unassuming youth who had rented a portion of her house.
Located amid the congested lanes of Singhalpura market in Shalimar Bagh, Northwest Delhi, the house is a three-storeyed structure. Police said it was in a two-room tenement on the first floor of this building that a plan to attack religious and political leaders was hatched a few months ago.
“He had only a folding cot, three chairs and a table with a laptop. He would always keep checking share prices, and watch the news all day long,” said Manjeet, who lives with her family in the building.
Sarabpreet, she said, had moved into the house in February this year. “I met a woman during a parent-teacher’s meeting at my son’s school. She told me that her brother, Sarabpreet, was looking for a rented accommodation. I let him take the room upstairs. How was I to know that my tenant would be accused of terrorism?”
Sarabpreet had told her that he was married, and had come to Delhi for work.
The first floor is dimly lit, with only a window in the corner to let the sunlight in. Through the mesh in the kitchen, one can see a tin of biscuits, a steam iron, a box containing chessmen, a tin of Fevicol, a packet of flax seeds and a matka. Reebok shoes and track pants also lay there.
“I can’t believe the police were after him. He seemed such a nice man. My children would always be at his place, playing on his laptop. Only yesterday, he told me that his share market business was picking up, and he had opened an office in G-Block. It was supposed to be his first day at work,” said Manjeet.