Punjab: Days before Maur blast, intelligence had warned of terror strike

The Indian Express has learnt, that “prominent personalities belonging to Punjab Police, leaders belonging to parties like Shiv Sena, leaders of sects like Dera Sacha Sauda etc. are prime targets of Punjab radicals.”

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh | Published: February 12, 2017 4:07:10 am
Punjab news, Maur blast, Punjab radicals, Punjab news, Latest news, India news, Latest news, India news, Latest news, Punjab latest news Bhatinda: Punjab DGP Suresh Arora inspecting a wrecked vehicle in which an IED blast took place yesterday, in Maur, Bhatinda. (PTI Photo)

Exactly a week prior to the Maur Mandi blast which claimed six lives, the intelligence wing of the Punjab Police had issued an alert to top police officers districts and commissionerates in the state, warning of suspected terror strike. Based on an input received from a central agency relating to efforts of banned terrorist groups to revive militancy in Punjab, the alert by Punjab intelligence wing on January 24 pointed out, “Input indicates that Pak-based terrorist outfits were contemplating explosive-laden vehicle strike and concealing IEDs inside loudspeakers and amplifiers fused during public events. They are learnt to have prepared IEDs and bombs disguised in items of common and daily usage such as torches, cameras, perfume bottles and toys.”

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The alert, The Indian Express has learnt, referred to the “disclosures of recently arrested Punjab terrorists” and noted that “prominent personalities belonging to Punjab Police, leaders belonging to parties like Shiv Sena, leaders of sects like Dera Sacha Sauda etc. are prime targets of Punjab radicals.”

Police believe Congress leader Harminder Jassi was the target in the twin blasts in Maur Mandi on January 31, days ahead of February 4 elections. The blasts were carried out using an explosives-laden car and police believe ammonium nitrate was used to trigger blast. While the forensic test report is awaited, police have ruled out the possibility of RDX.

The blast occurred as Jassi was leaving the venue after addressing a public meeting. Incidentally, Jassi is close relative of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Jassi’s daughter is married to dera chief’s son.

The alert, meanwhile, also mentioned killings of RSS leader Brig Jagdish Jagneja (retd) and busting of recent terror modules and said incidents like desecration of Guru Granth Sahib were being used to incite gullible Punjab youth against India by Khalistan Tiger Force and Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) modules based in foreign countries.

Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora was not available for comment.

No arrests have been made in the Maur blasts case so far as police are struggling to develop any substantial leads. Based on nature of the similar blasts during terrorism period in the state, the Punjab Police believe the blast had “hallmark of Babbar Khalsa”.

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