NIA, Punjab Police crack Ludhiana court blast case, arrest mastermind
The Punjab Police on Sunday claimed to have solved the Ludhiana court blast incident that took place last year. They have also apprehended the primary suspect in the case following a joint operation by the police's Special Task Force (STF) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The STF had already detained five persons, including a minor, in connection with the case on Friday.
According to the Director-General of the Punjab Police, VK Bhawra, the main accused has been apprehended by the STF unit of Border Range, and the matter could be cracked further. "The IED [improvised explosive device] used in the blast was trafficked through a drone backed by [Pakistan's] ISI," he claimed. He also said the NIA was also a key player in the operation.
According to the investigation, the juvenile would give technical assistance to Khalistani gang couriers by using the internet to create international phone numbers. While attempting to carry improvised explosive devices out of Pakistan, the suspects were caught. Those arrested on Friday included Surmukh Singh, Harpreet Singh, Dilbag Singh alias Baggo, and Savinder Singh alias Bhola, as well as the juvenile.
The IED was allegedly received by Dilbag just two days before the blast, India Today reported quoting the investigation report. It said Dilbag handed over the bomb to Surmukh, who further gave it to Gagandeep (a dismissed Punjab Police cop) who was killed in the blast while planting the IED. The police have also recovered two Pakistani SIM cards from Dilbag as well.
Last year, one person was killed and six others injured in a blast at the Ludhiana court complex on December 23. The blast took place inside a bathroom on the second floor shortly after 12:20 pm. The high-intensity blast damaged the walls and roof of the bathroom and shattered glass windows of nearby rooms.
Following the incident, the NIA filed a case against Jaswinder Singh Multani, a member of the banned Khalistani group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), who lives in Germany. His involvement was also found in the IED planting case at Chandigarh's Budail prison.