Punjab CM orders high alert as four more arrested in tiffin bomb blast case

Published on Sep 16, 2021 12:18 AM IST

Punjab director general of police Dinkar Gupta said two terrorists from Pakistan named in the case registered in August are International Sikh Youth Federation chief Lakhbir Singh Rode and Qasim, an intelligence officer.

Punjab Police personnel conduct an inspection after the recovery of tiffin bombs in Amritsar, at a bus stand, in Jalandhar on August 10. (Sunny Sehgal)
Punjab Police personnel conduct an inspection after the recovery of tiffin bombs in Amritsar, at a bus stand, in Jalandhar on August 10. (Sunny Sehgal)
By, Amritsar

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesdayordered an high alert in the state a day after four more members of an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI-backed) terrorist module, involved in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) tiffin bomb last month, were arrested on Tuesday. With the recent arrests, the state police busted the fourth terror module with links to Pakistan over the past 40 days.

“Taking note of the increased attempts by terror groups to disturb the state’s peace, the CM has directed the police to be on high alert, particularly in view of schools and educational institutions reopening, the festive season and the assembly polls to be held next year”, reads a press release issued by the state information and public relations department on Wednesday.

Police said the four men arrested were identified as Rubal Singh, Vicky Bhutti, Malkeet Singh and Gurpreet Singh, alias Gopi. Rubal, also wanted in a murder case of September 1 . While Gurpreet was picked up from Ambala, the other three were nabbed from their villages in Ajnala, Amritsar, the police said. Their fifth accomplice, Gurmukh Brar, was arrested on August 20, the police added.

Punjab director general of police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said two terrorists from Pakistan named in the case registered in August are International Sikh Youth Federation chief Lakhbir Singh Rode and Qasim, an intelligence officer.

On August 8, 2021, these terrorist operatives carried out a recce of Sharma Filling Station during the day and placed the IED at about 11pm, with the timer set to eight minutes. The blast took place at 11.30pm.

All five arrested operatives, along with Rode and Qasim, have been booked under Sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act and the Explosive Substance Act.

The DGP added that Qasim and Rode had promised to transfer over 2 lakh to five arrested accused for carrying out the blast. “Rubal and Vicky Bhutti were in touch with Qasim, who had reportedly tasked the four members to blast an oil tanker for causing maximum damage to people and property,” the top cop said, adding that the blast was made on August 8 when, at about 11.30 pm, the Ajnala police received information that an Oil Tanker (PB-02 CR 5926) parked at Sharma Filling Station Ajnala, located on the Amritsar-Ajnala Road near village Bhakha Tara Singh, had caught fire. Ultimately, the fire brigade doused the flames.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Gurmukh had placed the tiffin IED at Hambowal on Jalandhar-Amritsar highway, from where, on August 6, 2021, Vicky, Malkeet and Gurpreet Singh picked it up on the directions of Rode and Qasim. The trio hid the bomb near a canal in the Rajasansi area.

A pen-drive was attached with the tiffin box, which contained intructions to operate the Tiffin Bomb IED.

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