Punjab police dismantle ISI-backed terror module; catch 2 agents
Punjab police on Friday claimed to have dismantled an ISI-backed terrorist module jointly operated by Canadian mobster Lakhbir Singh alias Landa and Pakistan-based mobster Harvinder Singh Rinda with the arrest of two of its agents. Landa is seen as close associates of Rinda, who had partnered with Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), and the pair have close ties to the ISI, Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav said. Landa had played a key role in planning the rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack on the Punjab Police Intelligence Headquarters in Mohali in May. He was also behind the planting of an improvised explosive device under the car of Deputy Inspector Dilbag Singh in Amritsar on August 16.
Those arrested were identified as Baljit Singh Malhi from Jogewal village in Ferozepur and Gurbaksh Singh alias Gora Sandhu from Buh Gujran village in Ferozepur. DGP Yadav said that during an operation by Additional IG (counterintelligence), Jalandhar, Navjot Singh Mahal, police teams also seized an AK-56 assault rifle along with two magazines, 90 rounds and two shells from a location identified by Gurbaksh Singh at his village.
He said preliminary investigations revealed that Malhi was in contact with Italy-based Harpreet Singh, aka Happy Sanghera, and on the latter’s instructions, Baljit Singh picked up a shipment of arms on the Makhu-Lohian road in the village of Sudan in July 2022. They later concealed the consignment in fields belonging to Gurbaksh Singh after carrying out test fires, he added.
The DGP said it was also established that Baljit Singh was in direct contact with Landa and Arsh Dalla. Further investigations are ongoing and further weapon recoveries are expected soon, he said, adding that an FIR under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the the weapons was registered with the State Special Operation Cell in Amritsar.
Eighth defendant in Amritsar IED case arrested in Kullu
On Friday, Punjab Police also arrested Yuvraj Sabharwal alias Yash who placed the IED under the SI car heading towards Landa. Sabharwal is the eighth defendant arrested in this case.
According to Yadav, Sabharwal is a resident of Navi Abadi Faizpura and was arrested in Kullu in Himachal Pradesh.
He is a history soap opera and has been involved in various heinous crimes including attempted murder, robbery and robbery. In addition to Sabharwal, police also arrested his two assistants – Pawan Kumar alias Shiva Macchi and Sahil alias Macchi – both residents of Chamrang Road in Amritsar, who have criminal backgrounds and are wanted by Amritsar police in several other cases including murder, kidnapping, theft and debauchery. The two defendants were arrested in a dacoity case registered at Majitha Road police station in Amritsar, while their role in the IED case registered at Ranjit Avenue police station is also under review, said indicated the DGP.
The development comes weeks after Punjab police arrested seven people, including Deepak (22) from the village of Patti in Tarn Taran, who accompanied Sabharwal in retrieving and planting the IED. The cell phone-triggered IED weighing approximately 2.79 kg and carrying approximately 2.17 kg of explosives was recovered from the scene by local police.
Six other people, who were arrested for providing logistical, technical and financial support, have been identified as dismissed police constable Harpal Singh and Fatehdeep Singh, both residents of the village of Sabra in Tarn Taran ; Rajinder Kumar alias Bau de Harike in the Tarn Taran; Khushalbir Singh alias Chittu, Varinder Singh alias Abu and Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi, police said.
Yadav said that with the arrest of Sabharwal, the police have managed to catch all the defendants involved in the case as efforts are made to extradite Lakhbir Singh who hatched the plot with the intention of disturbing the peace and the harmony of the border state. Amritsar Police Commissioner Arun Pal Singh said they had secured a seven-day pretrial detention against Yuvraj and further investigations were ongoing.