X Close

Mohali explosion: Five arrested, police say nexus between Babbar Khalsa, ISI


CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Police has arrested five people in connection with the RPG attack at its intelligence headquarters in Mohali and said a nexus of militant outfit Babbar Khalsa International, Pakistan's spy agency ISI and gangsters is behind it.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday evening, Director General of Police V K Bhawra said a sixth accused is in police custody in a separate case.

"In addition, two people -- Mohd Nasim Alam and Mohd Sharaf Raj -- have been brought for questioning from Noida. They originally hail from Bihar. We have not arrested them yet and they are being questioned," said the DGP.

In an audacious attack on Monday, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) was fired at the state police's intelligence wing headquarters in Mohali's Sector 77.

Bhawra said the plot behind the incident has been traced and a nexus of militant outfit Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and gangsters at the behest of Pakistan's ISI has come to the fore.

"The key conspirator who organised all logistics, in this case, is Tarn Taran resident Lakhbir Singh, alias Landa, who used to be a gangster and had shifted to Canada in 2017," the DGP said. "He is a close associate of gangster-turned-terrorist Harvinder Singh Rinda, who operates from Pakistan," he said.

The DGP said Landa was the key handler, who provided the RPG, AK-47 and the local network of criminals for logistic support to carry out the attack.

When asked from where the RPG came, he said going by the markings on it, it appears to be either from Russia or Bulgaria, which made it's way from Pakistan into Tarn Taran, Punjab's border district.

He said those arrested are Jagdeep Singh Kang of Mohali; Baljit Kaur, alias Sukhi (50); Baljinder Singh, alias Rambo (41) of Patti, Tarn Taran; Kanwarjit Singh, alias Kanwar Bath (40), of Amritsar; and Anant Deep Singh, alias Sonu (32), of Guru Nanak Colony, Amritsar, he said.

Two cars have also been recovered from their possession. One of the three people who carried out the attack is Charath Singh, who is also a resident of Tarn Taran.

However, the three suspects who carried out the attack are yet to be arrested, said the DGP.

The DGP said Tarn Taran resident Nishan Singh, an accused in the case, is already under the custody of the Faridkot police in some other case. He will be arrested in this case too, he said.

Nishan Singh is key conspirator Lakhbir's main associate. He was arrested by the Faridkot police a few days ago, he said.

The DGP said Nishan Singh provided shelter, arranged shelter through his friends, retrieved the RPG and handed it over to those people who carried out the attack. "Besides, Kanwar Bath and Baljit Kaur are contacts of Nishan Singh," he said while giving details.

Anant Deep is a brother-in-law of Nishan Singh and used to assist in providing logistic support, he said.

The RPG was retrieved from a location provided by Landa. Rambo retrieved an AK-47 as told to him by Nishan Singh. Rambo then took it and handed it over to Charath Singh, he said.

Bhawra said initially Charath Singh had provided hideouts to two attackers and later he handed over them to Nishan Singh, who had arranged their stay at the residence of Kanwarjit Bath and Baljit Kaur in Amritsar from April 27 to May 7.

Nishan Singh had also retrieved the RPG from the earmarked location on the Kulla-Patti road on the directions of Landa, he added. "Their local contact in Mohali was Jagdeep Kang. He provided the local logistic support. Charath Singh and Jagdeep Singh Kang visited the area during the day time on May 9," he said.

"Finally, Charath Singh and two more who had come from outside executed the attack," said the DGP.

The DGP said the Punjab Police have been on manhunt to arrest Charathn Singh, who is serving life sentence in a murder case and is out on parole. They are also searching for his two accomplices. Asked from where did the three get the training to fire the RPG, the DGP quipped, "Look, these days many things are available on the YouTube, that is the flip side of technology."

Asked if any connection of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of the Sikhs for Justice came to the fore, he replied, "See, anything happening in Punjab, Himachal, Pannun takes credit of everything, so I will not say anything on that. The thing is that it is some terror organisations and some gangsters, they have done it".

Earlier, police sources had said Pakistan-based Rinda has been taking the help of local gangsters to carry out anti-national activities. His name came up when a terror plot was foiled recently with the arrest of four suspected Pakistan-linked terrorists in Haryana's Karnal.

Rinda's involvement was also detected in a hand-grenade attack at the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) office in Nawanshahr last month.