Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said that the Punjab Police has arrested one of the two perpetrators of the grenade attack on Nirankari Bhawan in less than 72 hours after three persons were killed and 15 injured in the explosion.
Addressing a press conference, he categorically ruled out any religious motivation behind the attack and described Sunday’s attack on Nirankari Bhawan as yet another attempt by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to carry out terrorist actions in Punjab to disturb peace in the state.
“Attempts by the ISI to forge linkages between Punjabi and Kashmiri terrorist groups is a matter of serious security concern for Punjab. The state police is working closely with central agencies to check the spread of such forces. The government is committed to ensuring that nobody was allowed to disturb the state’s hard-earned peace and harmony,” he asserted.
26-year-old Bikramjit Singh has been arrested for the attack and the hunt is on for the other suspect, the Chief Minister said.
Preliminary investigations and CCTV footage of the incident had led to the arrest of Bikram, who has identiﬁed his accomplice as Avtar Singh Khalsa.
Bikram, an operative of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF), has given signiﬁcant information indicating that the grenade was provided to the assailants by a person named Happy in Pakistan.
Happy is suspected to be the Pakistan-based KLF Chief, who had earlier masterminded the conspiracy to carry out the targeted killings of RSS/Shiv Sena/DSS leaders and workers (and a Christian Pastor) in Ludhiana and Jalandhar in 2016-2017, in active collaboration with Pakistani establishments and the ISI.
Giving further details, Punjab DGP Suresh Arora said Bikram was riding a motorbike (TVS PB-18 M- 7032) at the time of his arrest. Bikram’s black Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle (PB-02-BF9488), which he has used in the attack, has also been recovered.
According to Bikram’s initial questioning, the recce of Nirankari Satsang Bhawan was carried out on the morning of November 13 when no one was present at the premises. During the recce, the two conspirators especially checked out the locations of CCTV cameras en route, the layout plan of the Bhawan and the distance from the main gate on the boundary wall of the Bhawan to the Satsang Bhawan building.
Bikram further revealed that while Avtar successfully slinked into the Satsang Bhawan complex through the open gate along with the Sangat which had just reached there, he himself managed to subdue and take control, at gunpoint, of the two sewadars who had been deployed at the 2 gate-posts of the Satsang Bhawan complex.
After hurling the grenade, both of them ﬂed and reached Avtar’s village around 12 noon, where Avtar took back the Pistol from Bikram. After changing his clothes and appearance, Bikram drove back to his village on his black Bajaj Pulsar motorcycle.
It has been learned that HG 84 hand grenade is produced by Arges of Austria and also manufactured in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) of Pakistan (as the “84-P2A1”). Such grenades are commonly used by the Armies of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Austria.
HG 84 is a destructive type of grenade, which causes fragmentation after the explosion and has an effective range of 30-meter radius. These are mainly used to attack and kill a gathering of persons. Such grenades have been used in J&K in the past.
(With ANI inputs)