A Khalistan-supported group backed by Pakistan’s ISI might have masterminded and executed the Ludhiana court bombing, as per the preliminary findings of intelligence agencies. A senior officer said that after the Red Fort incident, intelligence agencies were in pursuit of extremist elements in Punjab to keep a close watch on Khalistan forces trying to revive their movement.
The handlers of the Ludhiana bombers based in Pakistan were giving instructions to their on-ground workers to execute terror activities in Punjab. Many of such attempts were foiled in a joint operation with state police, he said.
“We got specific inputs that locals gangs had been hired and radicalised to revive the Khalistan movement that was backed by Pakistan’s spy agency ISI. We shared these inputs with local police and an operation was conducted across the state to prepare a list of criminals out on bail or absconding. The recoveries made in the last few months were just the tip of an iceberg,” said a senior police officer.
He said that the incident of grenade blast near the gate of the Indian Army cantonment in Pathankot in November was a terror activity executed by local criminals just as the Ludhiana court bombing was.
“This year around 42 drone sightings of unmanned aerial vehicles near Punjab were reported and many more remained unreported. The explosives and small arms were dropped using the drone from Pakistan side will be used to destabilize peace in the state,” said another senior officer.
In the last five months, Punjab Police has recovered seven tiffin bombs and more than 10 hand grenades from bordering towns.
In August this year, Punjab Police had arrested Gurmukh Singh, son of the nephew of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and recovered a huge amount of explosives from his possession. In the investigation, it was found that he was getting logistic support from Pakistan’s ISI and by other Pakistan-based pro-Khalistan terrorist groups to carry out multiple terror attacks in Punjab in its ongoing efforts to revive militancy before state elections.