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2 Babbars held for Delhi cinema blasts
Tribune News Service

Nawanshahr/New Delhi, May 31
The Delhi police today claimed to have solved the bomb blast case that took place in two cinema houses here on May 22. Cracking the nine-day-old case of the twin blasts, the police today arrested two activists of the Babbar Khalsa militant outfit allegedly responsible for the crime and claimed to have seized 1 kg RDX, Rs 2.94 lakh cash and 2 kg of gold from one of them.

The two accused have been identified as Balwinder Singh Bhinda and Jagannath. Two other persons involved in triggering the blasts that killed one person and injured more than 50 during the screening of the controversial movie, ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’, are still at large.

Balwinder Singh was nabbed in Nawanshahr in Punjab early this morning while Jagannath was arrested in the Uttam Nagar area of Delhi hours later.

The absconding accused have been identified as Jaspal and Vikas. They had planted the bombs in the two halls and the explosives had been fabricated in the toilets of the cinema halls.

Known for expertise in explosives, Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) militant outfit was allegedly behind the recent blasts in the Liberty and Satyam cinemas of Delhi. This has been alleged with the arrest of Balwinder Singh Bhinda, one of the two prime accused in the case, from his native Hayala village of this district by the Delhi police last night.

Jaspal Singh Raja, the alleged mastermind behind the blasts and resident of Simbli village near Garhshankar, however, could not be arrested during the midnight raids conducted by the Delhi police with the help of the Punjab police in Hayala and Simbli villages.

Jaspal Singh Raja was also allegedly involved in illegal human trafficking and was said to be a close contact of Pakistan-based BKI chief Wadhawa Singh Babbar.

A team of the Delhi police, led by an ACP, swooped on Hayala and Simbli villages of Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur districts, respectively, late last night and detained Balwinder Singh Bhinda (22) from his house in Hayala. Two other persons were also said to have been detained, but official sources did not confirm their detention.

Jaspal Singh Raja (24), who is said to have been operating in New Delhi as a travel agent, could not be arrested and his family members told the police that he was settled in Austria for the past two years. Balwinder Singh, police sources pointed out, had recently visited the USA to meet his sister there, while Jaspal Singh Raja was said to have visited Bangkok in April and he was suspected to have come into contact of some BKI operative or could have been directed to carry out blasts during his 22-day stay there.

The arrest of Bhinda is expected to lead to a number of clues pertaining to the Delhi blasts and activities of the BKI in Punjab and India.

Delhi Police Commissioner K.K. Paul told a press conference here that the four had planted the bombs in the two halls and the explosives had been fabricated in the toilets of the cinema halls.

From Jagannath’s house in Uttam Nagar in South West Delhi, 1 kg RDX, 2 kg gold and Rs 2.94 lakh cash had been seized, the Police Commissioner said.

Immediately after the two blasts, there was a report that the four accused had left Delhi. The police zeroed in on the four accused and dispatched the teams to various locations in UP and Punjab. Today, the police arrested Balwinder from Punjab and at his instance, another accused was also arrested from the Uttam Nagar area.

The other two accused are still at large. The police said that the two accused travelled to Bangkok on April 22 where they met one Shahid and discussed about terrorist activities to be carried out.

The police said that Jaspal Singh and Balwinder used to study together in Nawanshahr.

The other accused, Jagannath (36), was born at Saakh Dand Pandey village in Gorakhpur district. He came to Delhi when he was 12 years old. He was into the courier business of gold and foreign currency. He purchased a property in Uttam Nagar in 1995.

CHANDIGARH: Balwinder Singh and Jatinder Singh have no past record, sources in the Punjab police said.

Preliminary investigation carried out by the cops after their arrest has reportedly revealed the hand of Pakistan’s ISI in the blasts, the sources assert, adding that the activity was allegedly carried out with the help of Babbar Khalsa International.

It’s member Wadhawa Singh, wanted by the Punjab police in former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination case, was also involved in the operation, the sources claim, adding that he is currently putting up in Pakistan.

Punjab’s Director-General of Police S.S. Virk says the accused belong to “peripheral” or the outer circle of militant outfits. Two of the group members, Vikas from Delhi and Jagan Nath from Uttar Pradesh, are certainly not “Sikh militants” as suggested by their names.

The sources, meanwhile, add that the arrested duo have already confessed their hand in the blasts and have even divulged the crime plan. They further add that Vikas and Jagan Nath were leading a lavish life and used to visit Bangkok and Dubai for pleasure trips.

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