Punjab: Canada-based gangster mastermind behind planting of IED under cop's vehicle

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 27-08-2022 20:44 IST | Created: 27-08-2022 20:44 IST
Punjab: Canada-based gangster mastermind behind planting of IED under cop's vehicle
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The Punjab Police on Saturday said Canada-based gangster Lakhbir Singh alias Landa was the mastermind behind planting of an improvised explosive device under the vehicle of a sub-inspector of police in Amritsar.

Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav said seven persons, including one of the two men who planted the IED and a police constable, have been arrested in this case.

The arrested man who planted the prefabricated IED under the SUV of Sub-Inspector Dilbagh Singh in Amritsar on August 16 has been identified as Deepak (22) of village Patti in Tarn Taran.

The IED weighing about 2.79 kg and containing about 2.17 kg high explosive was recovered from the spot by police. The six other arrested persons who had provided logistical, technical and financial support have been identified as police constable Harpal Singh and Fatehdeep Singh, both residents of village Sabra in Tarn Taran; Rajinder Kumar alias Bau of Harike in Tarn Taran; and Khushalbir Singh alias Chittu, Varinder Singh alias Abu and Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi, all residents of Bhikhiwind. Varinder and Gopi, who were lodged in the Goindwal Jail and are close aides of Landa, had roped in Khushalbir to collect the IED from a designated spot, said police.

Police also recovered the motorcycle used by Deepak for planting the IED and five mobile phones from the accused persons. They also recovered cash -- Rs 2.52 lakh, USD 3,614, 220 euro and 170 pounds -- and passports from the possession of Fatehdeep and Harpal.

DGP Yadav said the Amritsar Police Commissionerate got its first break in the case with the arrest of Harpal and Fatehdeep from the Delhi airport a day after the incident when they were trying to flee to the Maldives.

The questioning of arrested persons further revealed the involvement of Rajinder Bau, who fled to Shirdi after he failed to flee from India in the absence of a second COVID-19 vaccination certificate, he said, adding that Bau was arrested with the assistance of ATS Mumbai on August 20.

Further investigation in the case established the role of two jail inmates -- Varinder and Gurpreet -- who on directives of Canada-based Lakhbir Landa had arranged Khushalbir for retrieving the IED along with Fatehdeep and handing over to Deepak and his accomplice, who finally planted it under the SI's vehicle, he said.

Khushalbir was arrested on August 21.

The DGP said Khushalbir, along with Fatehdeep, had gone to fetch the IED from the spot pinpointed by Landa, who was also giving them the direction to the location via video chat.

''On August 16, Harpal, Fatehdeep and Rajinder Bau went to the Ranjit Avenue area to ensure that everything was right to detonate the IED,'' he said, adding that Landa was monitoring the entire operation with inputs from the trio.

DGP Yadav said Deepak, Fatehdeep, Rajinder Bau and Harpal had no criminal records and were lured by Landa to commit terror activities with a promise to help them settle abroad, specifically Canada.

Commissioner of Police (CP) of Amritsar Arun Pal Singh said they have also identified the accomplice of Deepak who accompanied him on the motorcycle to plant the IED, besides identifying the owner of the motorcycle and a person who arranged the motorcycle. “Police teams are on a manhunt to arrest the remaining accused persons and soon they will be behind bars,” he added.

Police constable Harpal will be dismissed from service for his role in terrorist activities. Lakhbir Landa, 33, a native of Tarn Taran who fled to Canada in 2017, had also conspired the rocket propelled grenade (RPG) terror attack at Punjab Police Intelligence Headquarters in Mohali in May.

He is considered to be a close aide of Pakistan-based wanted gangster Harvinder Singh alias Rinda, who had joined hands with the Babbar Khalsa International.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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