Leads from a Kapurthala man arrested in the December 4 car-bomb case have uncovered a plot to send two suicide bombers to kill the head of a Ludhiana-based sect later this month at a prominent event in the state.
One of the three tiffin bombs prepared for the purpose had exploded accidentally inside a Maruti Swift Dzire car at Dugri village, 20 kilometers from this district headquarters, killing clothes merchant Ajay Kumar (35) of Moti Nagar here and injuring Jagmohan Singh (45) of Godaipur. Looking into it, superintendent of police (investigations) HPS Khakh, inspector Inderjit Singh, and sub-inspector Shiv Kumar, later, arrested Hardeep Singh (55) of Bholath in Kapurthala and claimed to have gathered from him that the explosive had been prepared from ammonium nitrate fertiliser supplied by accomplices at Sirsa in Haryana.
The other bombs
Police say Hardeep Singh kept two tiffin bombs, while Jagmohan and Ajay took the third. After it exploded in their car on December 4, Hardeep threw the other two bombs into a pond, from where police divers have recovered one. Inspector general of police (zone-2) Arpit Shukla denied that this was an attempt to revive terrorism in the state. “The bomb came from Hansi Road in Sirsa and doesn’t belong to any terrorist group. Forensic experts from Chandigarh analysed it,” he said, adding that police expected leads also from Jagmohan Singh, who was under treatment at a private hospital.
Later on Thursday, a local court remanded Hardeep in police custody till Monday.
Earlier, Jagmohan had told the police that two men on a motorcycle had driven by the car and tossed the bomb at Ajay in the driver’s seat, and shocked by the injuries, he had failed to notice how the attackers looked.
He had claimed that, later, he had driven into a private hospital in that damaged car, and called the police. The cops found the road too narrow for two vehicles to pass at the same time; and also looked into why the car was off the highway, in an isolated place hidden by sugarcane fields at Dugri village.
A case under Sections 302 (murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 3 (repeal of portions of Act 12 of 1875), 4 (definition of explosive material), and 5 (continuing business of explosives without licence) of the Explosives Act was registered against Jagmohan Singh on the statement of Pinki, wife of victim Ajay.