Claiming to have unraveled the plot behind the Shingaar cinema hall blast in Ludhiana, the Punjab police have held Pakistan responsible for planning the terror attack with the help of Babbar Khalsa activists “trained” at militant camps across the border.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Saturday night arrested four Babbar Khalsa activists including Gurpreet Singh, the mastermind of the plot. It also seized 3 kg RDX explosives, three live bombs, two detonators and batteries that are used to trigger of a blast.
Punjab’s Director-General of Police N.P.S. Aulakh said interrogation of the arrested revealed that it is “likely to be the handiwork of ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence Agency) of Pakistan” and the funds for the terror attack were from an “unidentified” source, abroad. When asked whether the militants had specific directions from Pakistan’s ISI, the DGP said, “It looks like.”
He said the bomb used in the blast was a “time bomb” and was triggered using a battery. The investigators, however, denied any link between the Ludhiana blast with the Ajmer and Mecca Masjid tragedies, as suspected during the initial days of investigations.
The DGP said that Gurpreet and his accomplices had managed to sneak into Pakistan as a member of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Jathha, a delegation of Sikh devotees. “He had attended a militant training camp in Pakistan where he was “trained and briefed” about the conspiracy and targets. The other three accused have been identified as Sandeep Singh, Palwinder Singh and Ravinder Singh alias Rinku,” he said.
The blast had killed six persons and injured more than 37 during the screening of a Bhojpuri movie at Shingaar cinema hall on the day of ID on October 14. Another accused Harminder Singh is still absconding, the police said.
“The RDX was smuggled from Pakistan by a shepherd through the international border at Bikaner in Rajasthan in July end and was ferried from their in an old Maruti esteem car especially purchased for the purpose”, Aulakh added.