Looking for leads in the ongoing investigation into the January 31 Maur Mandi twin blasts which claimed six lives days before February 4 polling in the State, the Punjab police have begun a massive exercise to locate the the origin of the fake registration plate of the explosive-laden Maruti 800 car. A highly placed source in the Punjab Police told The Indian Express on Tuesday that areas within a radius of 100 kilometres from the blast site were earmarked and police teams were studying the pattern of number plates by visiting the number plate manufacturers in various towns and cities.
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Bathinda, the district in which Maur Mandi falls, alone has more than 30 manufacturers of such number plates, an official privy to the investigations said.
The blast, police suspect, was to target Congress nominee Harminder Singh Jassi who was leaving the venue after addressing a public meeting during his campaign for the polls.
A senior police officer said they suspected banned terrorist organisation Babbar Khalsa as the blast had its “hallmark”, similar to the blasts during days of terrorism in Punjab.
Police were also trying to locate the source of the pressure cooker which did not explode but was packed to capacity with nuts and bolts.
Meanwhile, police have summoned one of the suspects Kulbir Singh, a resident of Maur, to join investigations under section 160 of Criminal Procedure Code.
Bathinda Senior Superintendent of Police Swapan Sharma had on Monday told The Indian Express that police would get warrant of arrest issued from a court against Kulbir Singh as he was not joining the investigation. “We have summoned him under section 160 of CrPC. After a gap of two days each, we will send similar summons twice to him to join investigation. And if he still does not join investigation, we may move court to get warrant,” the SSP said on Tuesday.
Kulbir’s mother Rajinder Kaur has said, “Police are trying to implicate my son in a false case. He has nothing to do with the incident. After hearing the news, he fled in fear and we don’t know about his whereabouts.”
Police have ruled out possibility of use of RDX in the blast and suspect ammonium nitrate was likely to have been used along with a highly combustible material to carry out the blast.