Recovery of high-intensity explosives with detonators and timers at Ambala was the result of a sustained top-level Intelligence Bureau operation aimed at not only hustling the Pakistan-supported terrorists in India but also cautioning a section of the internal security establishment to pull up its socks.
The explosives were meant for the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF), sent by Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and smuggled in by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). They were brought in via Jammu.
Recently formed by former Babbar Khalsa International terrorist Jagtar Singh Tara, who escaped to Pakistan in 2004 after breaking out of the Burail jail in Punjab, KTF was planning to target north Indian cities, including Delhi, during the Diwali festival season.
A former Delhi taxi driver, Tara is the prime accused in the assassination of Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995. Jagtar Hawara and Paramjit Bheora are the other accused.
The trio escaped from Burail jail after digging a 90-ft tunnel. But Hawara and Bheora were later rearrested.
Government sources said the IB sleuths had been tracking the explosive consignment for nearly a month after they get directives from the top with the aim of busting other terrorist modules in India.
While Delhi Police claim that the explosive-laden blue Indica car was found abandoned outside the Ambala police station, the IB apparently has identified key players in the Sikh terrorist operation.
While the Delhi Police with the help of the IB managed to foil the terrorists' plans, the success of the operation is also an oblique message for those working on the bomb blasts cases since Jama Masjid car bomb incident on September 19, 2011.
Apart from the recovery of the explosive device outside the Delhi High Court on March 25, 2011, three bomb blasts including 13/7 Mumbai and 7/9 Delhi have not been cracked despite the daily virtual monitoring of the investigations by home minister P Chidambaram.