Punjab Police have cracked the case of hand grenade attacks, including the attack at the Pathankot army camp, by busting a major terror module backed by International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) with the arrest of its six operatives.
The SBS Nagar police have also recovered six hand-grenades, one pistol (9 mm), one rifle (.30 bore) along with bullets and magazines from their possession, Director General of Police (DGP), V.K. Bhawra, said here on Monday.
Those arrested have been identified as Amandeep, Gurwinder Singh, Parminder Kumar, Rajinder Singh, Harpreet Singh and Raman Kumar, all from Gurdaspur.
As per the information, in two instances, some unidentified persons had hurled hand grenades at Pathankot -- one near Chakki Pull on November 11, 2021 at about 9.30 pm, another outside Triveni Dwar, 21 sub-area of the army in Pathankot, on November 21 at about 9 pm.
Separate FIRs in this regard were registered in Pathankot.
The DGP said during preliminary interrogation, the accused revealed that they were directly in touch with self-proclaimed chief of ISYF (Rode), Lakhbir Singh Rode, and his close aides, Sukhmeetpal Singh alias Sukh Bhikhariwal and Sukhpreet alias Sukh, for planning the terror attacks.
"The entire cache of the recovered hand grenades, arms and ammunition were pushed in from across the international border by Lakhbir Rode, and the arrested accused persons had been tasked for further attacking the pre-identified targets which were mainly police and defence establishments, religious places etc.," the DGP said, adding that the accused also confessed to have lobbed hand grenades twice in Pathankot.
SBS Nagar SSP Kanwardeep Kaur said the police have also registered a case at a police station in Nawanshahr. "Further investigations are on," she added.
Notably, the role of Lakhbir Rode was also found in the killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh at Bhikhiwind on October 16, 2020, besides in the recovery of IED, RDX, arms and ammunition from his relative Gurmukh Singh Rode from Jalandhar in August 2021.
Sukhmeetpal Singh, alias Sukh Bhikhariwal, who is presently lodged in Tihar Jail in Delhi, was also involved in the killing of Comrade Balwinder Singh and in the case of murderous attack on Honey Mahajan at Dhariwal on February 10, 2020.
He was deported from Dubai in December 2020. Sukh Bhikhariwal provided foot-soldiers, arms and ammunition, logistics, funds etc. for the execution of the criminal acts.