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Former militant’s role under scanner

india Updated: Feb 04, 2008 01:18 IST

Haryana Police on Sunday said it was looking into the role of a former Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) militant in the attack on the motorcade of Dera Sacha Sauda chief in Karnal even as raids were being conducted in Patiala and Uttar Pradesh to arrest the suspect.

“We have specific inputs that former KCF militant Bakshish Singh organised Saturday’s attack. Our teams are conducting raids in Patiala and Uttar Pradesh to trace him,” Karnal Superintendent of Police, AS Chawla told PTI.

He said the ex-KCF ultra had been released on bail in 2003 and had been residing in Patiala. He said Bakshish Singh's name cropped up during the interrogation of the truck driver and cleaner who were taken into custody for questioning shortly after Saturday’s attack.

The sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is at loggerheads with the Sikh clergy, escaped unhurt in a blast in his motorcade near Karnal which left eight persons injured.

Initial reports on the type of explosive used point towards the use of a mixture of RDX and PETN. “It was a hi-intensity explosive used probably in small quantity,” sources said.

Police sources said that contrary to yesterday’s assumption that a tyre stuffed with explosives was hurled at the cavalcade, explosives packed in the spare wheel of the truck, were detonated by a trigger switch in the driver's cabin.

The Haryana Police team which visited Patiala to track down Bakshish Singh, reportedly missed him by a few moments.

The police raided his house in his native village Nijamniwala, near Samana in this district, early in the morning. Police suspect Bakshish was present at the spot during the attack on the Dera head, but rushed to his native village immediately afterwards.

The police questioned his wife Paramjit Kaur who later told HT that Bakshish has been staying at Hazoor Sahib since January 17.

Haryana DGP, Ranjeev Singh Dalal said that there is a strong likelihood of the involvement of “remnants” of some old militant outfits.

With inputs from Hitender Rao