Chandigarh, September 20, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)
The Central Government on Friday accepted Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh government’s recommendation to hand over the September 5 Tarn Taran blast case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in view of its national and international ramifications and suspected links of the accused with the Pak-backed Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).
A communique to this effect has been received by the Chief Secretary and DGP, Punjab, according to the spokesperson.
The case (FIR no. 0280, registered under section 304 IPC and various sections of the Explosive Substances Act) related to a powerful explosion that took place in a vacant plot on the outskirts of village Pandori Gola, District Tarn Taran. Two persons were killed and one other injured in the blast, which took place when the victims were reportedly digging a pit to retrieve a dumped explosive consignment, which they mishandled.
The Punjab Police had arrested eight members of the Pakistan-backed module, whose interrogations led to a complex web of conspiracy and attacks by the group, including an aborted attack on high value target in 2016.
Seven others, including the module leader and main conspirator Bikramjit Singh alias Granthi, who is believed to be in Austria, are still absconding. A Granthi by profession and a follower of Damdami Taksal, Bikramjit used to work as a Pathi.
A highly radicalized individual, he planned to target high political dignitaries, socio-religious places, local rival politicians, Hindu leaders and Sikh preachers, with the help of local made crude bombs. An IED expert, he also planned to attack police personnel with local made multiple bombs.
The other absconders have been identified as Gurpreet Singh (now based in California, USA), Gurwinder Singh @ Prince (now based at Sanjose, California, USA), Sodhi Singh (presently residing in Armenia), Arwinder Singh @ Honey, Kuldeep Singh and Ranjit Singh @ Bablu, who escaped to USA the day after the attack on a liquor shop in Amritsar on May 3, 2016.
Those apprehended so far were identified by the police as Harjit Singh, Manpreet Singh Mann, Chandeep Singh Khalsa @ Gabbar Singh, Malkiat Singh @ Sher Singh @ Shera, Maandeep Singh @ Massa Singh, Amritpal Singh @ Amrit, Amarjit Singh @ Amar and Gurjant Singh (under treatment in hospital).
Investigations have revealed strong links of the module members with Pakistan and SFJ, according to a police spokesperson. Chandeep Singh @ Gabbar Singh was found to be in regular in touch with Pak-based Usman who had earlier contacted Gabbar Singh on Facebook in 2018.
Usman used to send Chandeep Whatsapp messages on Khalistan and also on abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian government. Usman used to motivate Gabbar Singh to work for the establishment of a separate state of Khalistan and unite with Kashmiri Jehadis. Several Pakistani numbers have also been found in Chandeep’s contact list.
Giving further details of the module unraveled so far, a Punjab Police spokesperson said Bikramjit used to source material for his explosives from near Haqima gate and Lohgarh area of old city Amritsar.
He had successfully radicalized most of the module members at a religious place during the Ghallughara week, which was observed in the first week of June, 2016 and thereafter. He had also imparted training in IED manufacturing to radicalized module members at his home at village Panjwar and in the house of Gurjant Singh at village Bachere (Tarn Taran).
After radicalizing, motivating, imparting training in making IEDs, sourcing low grade explosives and supplying IEDs to important module members & other UNK individuals, he escaped to Austria via Armenia in July 2018.
The module had planned to a target a Dera in Taran Taran district, on order from Sodhi Singh Khalsa of Armenia, who was also the module’s one of the main links to the SFJ. They had also wanted to target a Hindu Shiv Sena leader.
Ranjit Singh @ Bablu s/o Balbir Singh was involved in the attack on the liquor shop, while Harmanjit Singh @ Captain (since arrested and now on bail) had earlier targeted a liquor shop with crude bombs near Chattiwind, Amritsar.
Gurjant Singh and Bikramjit Singh @ Vicky Gill had hurled two crude bombs a Missionary in Tarn Taran in Nov/Dec 2016. The bomb did not explode and no one was hurt in the incident.
Gurjant Singh, Harjit Singh & Vicky Gill hurled four crude bombs at the house of newly elected Sarpanch Gurjant Singh at village Bachere, Tarn Taran on January 3, 2019, which resulted in injuring 3 persons. Bikramjit Singh @ Vicky Gill and Gurjant Singh also exploded a crude bomb to test its potentiality on a lonely link road near Rayya-Beas on May 25, 2016.