The Punjab police on Sunday claimed to have busted a terror module by arresting three men, who allegedly had been trained and tasked by Pakistan’s ISI to carry out attacks in the country. In a statement released here, the police claimed that the three accused – Gurdial Singh, Jagroop Singh and Satwinder Singh, were directly linked with the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), an ISI backed outfit.
They had been instructed by Pakistan-based ISYF chief Lakhbir Rode to carry out attacks on certain individuals, said the police in the statement. According to the police, Gurdial, the chief operative of the group, was also in touch with J&K based militant outfits. The police also said that during investigation, Jagroop had revealed that he had been imparted training by the ISI to sabotage rail tracks.
Investigations have revealed that a part of the consignment of arms and ammunition seized on May 21 by the BSF, near the international border in Amritsar, was supplied by the ISYF, the police said. Two alleged terrorists, Maan Singh and Sher Singh, had been arrested by the BSF last month, when they attempted to pick up the consignment.
The police said that Gurdial had been introduced to Rode, who they claimed was staying “in an ISI provided safe-house in the Lahore cantonment,” by Germany based Balvir Singh. Gurdial had met Rode several times during his visits to Pakistan, as part of religious jathas (groups), in the last six to seven years, the police said.
Gurdial allegedly arranged a visa for Jagroop, who too travelled to Lahore with a ‘jatha’. According to the police, during interrogation, the duo revealed that during his stay in Lahore (November 12-21, 2016), Jagroop had also met Rode through Balvir Singh. Jagroop confessed that he was blindfolded and taken to the ISYF chief at an undisclosed location and imparted a four-day training course by the ISI in handling an AK-47 rifle and smaller weapons, the police said.
He was also trained in techniques of sabotaging railway tracks by loosening the securing and fastening mechanisms of the fish-plates, nuts and bolts, the police statement said. Both Gurdial and Jagroop were tasked to carry out terror strikes in India and target various individuals, the police said, adding that Rode and his associates had promised to provide them arms and ammunition from across the border.
The interrogation also revealed that during his visits to Pakistan, Gurdial was in regular touch with Balvir, who hails from village Paddi Surat Singh, Mahilpur in Hoshiarpur, the police claimed. The spokesperson said that Satwinder was also an active member of the group and, along with Jagroop, was directly in touch with his handlers in Pakistan and Germany.
Both Gurdial and Balvir have terrorist backgrounds, with criminal cases registered against them in 1992 and 1988. A Thompson gun had been recovered from Gurdial in 1992, the police said. According to the Punjab police, Gurdial hails from Road Majara, Garhshankar in Hoshiarpur district while both Jagroop and Satiwinder are residents of Chandpur Rurki, in Pojewal, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district.
A .32 bore pistol, with one magazine and 10 cartridges and a .38 bore revolver, with 7 cartridges, was recovered from the suspects, the police said. While Gurdial and Jagroop were arrested from their homes, Satwinder was apprehended at a checkpoint close to his village in Pojewal police station in Balachaur sub-division, the police claimed. The spokesperson said the alleged terrorists were nabbed after a meticulous intelligence-led operation of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar District police. They have been booked u/s 121,121A, 120B of the IPC, Sec 25,54 and 59 of the Arms Act and Sec 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities Act, the police said.