Police talk of terror link as youth ‘found dead’ in Patiala house raid, questions remain
But the theory, as presented by deputy inspector general (DIG) Sukhchain Singh Gill, left many questions unanswered. He said the matter is “highly sensitive”, hence the “exact facts” could not be shared “at this stage”.punjab Updated: Jun 01, 2017 23:41 IST
A 24-year-old computer engineer, Rajatvir Singh, was purportedly found dead at his house in Darshan Nagar of Patiala on Thursday, and the police claimed he was a bomb-maker who killed himself due to fear of cops who were conducting a raid. Police also claimed to have found a “pressure cooker bomb” and a “pipe bomb” and other explosive material from the house.
But the theory, as presented by deputy inspector general (DIG) Sukhchain Singh Gill, left many questions unanswered.
The DIG said that on a tip-off the police had set up a checkpost on the Patiala-Rajpura road near Faloli village at which two cars — a Maruti Suzuki Ritz hatchback, and a Mahindra Scorpio SUV — were signalled to stop on Wednesday night. “Rajatvir, who was driving the Scorpio, escaped while injuring a constable. We arrested the Ritz driver, identified as his father Harpreet Singh, a retired government employee,” Gill said.
Tracing the steps
He claimed that police found explosive material stacked in a bag in the Ritz, following which the police started deeper investigation. However, the officers failed to share with the media the exact location where the cars were intercepted and how they traced such illegal activities pointedly.
He said that upon the identification of Harpreet, a police team raided his house in Darshan Nagar and recovered ammunition. “Harpreet then deposed that he owned another house in the area. During checking of that house, the police team found Rajatvir’s body lying in pool of blood on the first floor.”
Rajatvir allegedly committed suicide with a country-made, .12-bore pistol, and the police claimed to have seized five other pistols and two dozen cartridges. A bomb squad and forensic experts were called to collect evidence.
Facebook videos a link?
“We are still investigating the matter and are unclear about the motives behind making the bombs. The main accused, Rajatvir, who was crucial in knowing the motive, is no more. We will take his father Harpreet on remand and interrogate him to further investigate whether they had any terror link or not,” the DIG said. Sources in the police said the probe will see if there is a link between the father-son duo and the blasts in Maur town on January 31, just before the Punjab assembly polls.
At the press briefing, officers also showed Rajatvir’s purported Facebook profile, on which two videos about Islamic extremism had been put up on May 30 night. The DIG said the police will check veracity of his FB account from experts. It must be noted that before May 30 the profile shows a Lohri celebration photo from January, and also a post about the 350th birth anniversary of the tenth Sikh guru, Gobind Singh.
When questioned about chinks in the theory, DIG Gill said the matter is “highly sensitive”, hence the “exact facts” could not be shared “at this stage”.