Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh orders high alert across Punjab to foil any bid to disturb peace by terrorists

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has directed police to be on high alert, particularly in view of schools and educational institutions reopening, as well as festival season and Assembly polls ahead

A 'Tiffin bomb' recovered by Punjab Police
A 'Tiffin bomb' recovered by Punjab Police

Bipin Bhardwaj

With the arrest of four more members of an ISI-backed terrorist module involved in a bid to blow up an oil tanker with an IED ‘Tiffin bomb’ last month, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered a high alert in the state.

This is the fourth case of a Pakistani terror module being busted in the state in the past 40 days.

Two Pak-based terrorists, including a Pakistani Intelligence Officer, have also been identified and indicted in the case at Ajnala police station, in which one person was arrested earlier, DGP Dinkar Gupta disclosed on Wednesday.

Taking a serious note of the increased attempts by terror groups to disturb the state’s peace, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has directed the police to be on high alert, particularly in view of schools and educational institutions reopening, as well as the festival season and the Assembly polls ahead.

The Chief Minister has asked the DGP to ensure high level of security arrangements to be put in place, especially in busy places, such as markets etc, as well as at sensitive installations across the state.

Giving details of the arrests, the DGP identified Pak-based ISYF Chief Lakhbir Singh and Qasim, a resident of Pakistan, and Lakhbir Singh Rode @ Baba, a native of village Rode, PS Samalsar, Moga district, who is currently based in Pakistan, as being behind the terror module.

Those arrested yesterday have been identified as Rubal Singh of Bhakha Tara Singh village, Vicky Bhutti of Ballharwal, Malkeet Singh of Ugar and Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi both of Uggar Aulakh.

While Rubal, also wanted in a murder case of September 1, 2021, was picked up from Ambala around on Tuesday, the other three were nabbed from their villages in Ajnala, Amritsar. Their fifth accomplice, Gurmukh Brar, was arrested earlier by Kapurthala Police, on August 20, 2021.

The DGP said the Pakistani intelligence officer, identified as Qasim, and International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) Chief Rode had promised to transfer over Rs 2 lakh to the terrorist module for carrying out the blast. Investigations into the financial aspects are also being carried out to unravel the money trail, he added.

Rubal and Vicky Bhutti were in touch with Qasim, who was working in close collaboration with Rode. Rode and Qasim had reportedly tasked the four members of a terrorist module to blast an oil tanker for causing maximum damage to people and property.

The terror attempt was made on August 8, 2021, when the Ajnala police received information that an oil tanker (PB-02 CR 5926) parked at Sharma Filling Station Ajnala, located on the Amritsar-Ajnala Road near village Bhakha Tara Singh, had caught fire. The fire was controlled by the fire brigade and an FIR was registered at PS Ajnala on the statement of one Ashwani Kumar Sharma of Ajnala.

Around August 15, the police had arrested two militants, followed by the recovery of a cache of weapons, hand grenades etc.

Another terror module was busted on August 20, 2021, when Kapurthala police recovered one ‘Tiffin bomb’ IED besides five hand grenades, one box of detonators, two tubes suspected to contain RDX, one .30 bore pistol, four Glock pistol magazines and one high explosive wire from Gurmukh Singh Rode and Gagandeep Singh.

Recently, the Ferozepur Police arrested one Darvesh Singh who disclosed that he had been in constant contact with Lakhbir Singh Rode and had collected consignments of weapons, Tiffin bomb IEDs, RDX and heroin, which had been dropped over drones from across the border in Ferozepur district.

Darvesh Singh has been arrested in a criminal case registered at Mamdot police station under the NDPS Act, Explosives Substances Act and UA (P) Act.

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