Gurdaspur attack: Two trains passed over explosives, elude disaster

  • Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 01, 2015 13:11 IST
The night vision device was found near a stretch of the Amritsar-Pathankot railway track to which five improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were tied to derail a passing train. (PTI File Photo)

Investigations into the Gurdaspur terrorist attack have revealed that 270 passengers had providential escape on July 27 morning as two trains passed the point where the three Pakistani jihadis had planted 2.5 kg RDX to blow the rail track before attacking the Dinanagar police station.

Police sources confirmed to Hindustan Times that one goods train passed over that point at Firni Road, Talwandi, at 4.37 am and a Pathankot-Amritsar Passenger train number 74672 crossed the mined spot at 4.57 am. As the CCTV in Dinanagar captured the three terrorists at 4.45 am, the Punjab police concluded that both the trains must have passed this Pathankot-Amritsar link line with explosives wired to the track. “Normally this passenger train is packed as it reaches Amritsar in the morning; it is safe to assume that there were scores of people on this train. Had it not been faulty circuitry (the battery was not properly attached), scores of people would have been killed in the explosion,” said a senior official.

The device was spotted by the villagers around 5.15 am after which another Pathankot-Amritsar train number 45612 was stopped at 6.05 am.

The train details were known after Punjab police railway chief Rohit Chaudhary was sent to the Talwandi Road spot, a mere 2 km from Dinanagar, and speak to the officials at the nearest Parmanand Railway Station.

While the formal investigation of the terror attack has been launched, the Indian security agencies are convinced that the attackers were from proscribed Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) on the basis of intelligence reports. With the recovered GPS indicating that the 12 waypoints were uploaded on July 21 at Canal Road between Khushab and Sargodha, the security agencies have confirmed that the LeT has a big office and strong presence in the area.

Khushab is known for Pakistan’s special weapons nuclear complex and Sargodha for air force base with nuclear delivery platforms. A US made night vision device and an MK72 LAW rocket launcher was recovered from the terrorists.

Although the security agencies had plans to hand over the two recovered GPS to the US agencies for digging out further details, the American agencies appear not too keen to get into India-Pakistan issue. This is also evident from the fact that US agencies have still not shared the results of investigations of GPS used in the March 21, 2015, attack in Samba sector of Jammu in which two suicide attackers were killed after gunning down six innocents.

Read: Gurdaspur attack: Recovered GPS systems reveal trail of terrorists

Centre may hand over Gurdaspur terror attack probe to NIA

Gurdaspur attack ends after 11-hour gunfight, 3 militants among 10 killed

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