Chandigarh: Punjab Police has arrested the second and main perpetrator of the Nirankari Satsang Bhawan grenade attack, to crack the case completely less than a week after terror was unleashed on innocent victims at Amritsar’s Adliwal village. The blast had claimed three lives and left 16 injured.
Avtar would be produced in the court and the police would seek his remand, DGP Suresh Arora disclosed at a media conference on Saturday, adding that there was strong evidence against the suspects caught in the case.
Avtar’s links have also been traced to Harmeet Singh Happy @ Ph.D, the self- styled chief of ISI-backed KLF, based in Pakistan. Happy @ Ph.D has emerged as the most active leader of Punjab based outfits working under the watch and directions of the Pak ISI, which is determined to spread terrorism in the border State of Punjab by radicalising poor and gullible youth of the State and motivating them to carry out terrorist actions, according to DGP Suresh Arora.
The DGP appealed to the youth of the State not to fall prey to the manipulations of Pakistani establishment and the terrorist outfits working under its command, which was determined to destroy their lives and careers. He exhorted the media to play a positive role on this count, and added that the police were counselling youth to ensure that they do not get misled by radical forces, especially on the social media.
Responding to a question, the DGP said there had been only two cases of terrorist attack in Punjab this year, including the Maqsudan police station attack and the Adliwal grenade attack. These were both sensitive cases, said the DGP, assuring the people of Punjab that nobody would be allowed to harm them. He expressed concern over the movement of terrorists from J&K to Punjab but asserted that the police were keep close tabs on all such movements.
Giving details of the operation, Arora, who was accompanied at the Press Conference by DGP (Intelligence), Dinkar Gupta, and DGP (Law & Order), H S Dhillon, said that the leads provided by Bikramjit Singh @ Bikram led the police to arrest 32-year-old Avtar Singh from Khiala village in PS Lopoke, from the tube well motor shed of his uncle, Trilok Singh, early this morning. Avtar, s/o Gurdial Singh, r/o Chak Mishri Khan, is a graduate and has been donning ‘Nihang Bana’ since 2012. He was a practicing quack in his village and had no criminal history, said the DGP.
Both the pistols which the perpetrators were carrying on the day of attack have been recovered on the disclosures of Avtar Khalsa. The weapons recovered include two Pistols (.32 bore), one of them US made, four magazines and 25 live rounds, said the DGP, adding that the recovery followed the arrest of one Shabnamdeep from Patiala.
Initial investigations have revealed that Avtar was contacted on WhatsApp, a few months ago, by one Javed, who claimed to be a Pakistani national (PIO) from Dubai. The so-called Pakistani national, who spoke in Punjabi, first contacted him, on the basis of a reference, in the garb of seeking consultation for his back problem. Thereafter, he started to discuss Sikh issues with him and motivating him to target the enemies of the ‘Sikh quom’.