After 25 years, 12 get jail for Punjab bank heist

Ludhiana, Nov 20 (IANS) Over 25 years after they committed one of the biggest bank robberies in the country, looting Rs.5.7 crore in Punjab's Ludhiana city, 12 people were sentenced by a court here Tuesday to 10 years imprisonment.

The special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) court announced the 10−year imprisonment to a former Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) militant, Daljit Singh Bittu, and 11 others. Ludhiana is 110 km from state capital Chandigarh.

Among those convicted, one person, Asa Singh is now 93 years old. Except Bittu, who is lodged in Nabha jail for terrorist activities, the others have been out on bail.

The punishment was announced by the court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge S.K. Arora here.

Posing as policemen, the group had robbed the Millerganj branch of Punjab National Bank here of Rs.5.7 crore Feb 13, 1987.

Police officials had told the court that the robbery was committed by the militants for money to buy weapons for terror activities.