Patiala youth’s arrest had ‘averted’ similar attack; cops to probe his role

PATIALA: Local youth Shabnamdeep Singh, who was arrested by the Patiala police early this month, had been allegedly tasked by his handlers with throwing a grenade at a large gathering – akin to Sunday’s grenade attack in Amritsar.

Patiala youth’s arrest had ‘averted’ similar attack; cops to probe his role

Intelligence inputs suggest that the modus operandi in the Amritsar incident was similar to what was planned by Shabnamdeep Singh and his accomplices before they were arrested with a hand grenade and a pistol. They were promised Rs 10 lakh for each terror act.

Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 18

Local youth Shabnamdeep Singh, who was arrested by the Patiala police early this month, had been allegedly tasked by his handlers with throwing a grenade at a large gathering – akin to Sunday’s grenade attack in Amritsar.

The police had claimed to have busted a Pakistan-sponsored terror module with Shabnamdeep’s arrest on November 1. Initial intelligence inputs suggest that the modus operandi in the Amritsar incident was similar to what was planned by Shabnamdeep and his aides before they were arrested with a hand grenade and a pistol.

The youth has been questioned by intelligence officials and the Intelligence Bureau in the past almost three weeks to ascertain his links in Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts.

“A grenade and a pistol had been supplied to Shabnamdeep. He had also been given money, which was used to buy a new bike,” said an official involved in the investigation.

Patiala SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu was tight-lipped about the investigation, but he confirmed that Shabnamdeep’s grilling was in progress.

State DGP Suresh Arora had said that Shabnamdeep was promised Rs 10 lakh for each terror act and was in touch with Nihal Singh. “Nihal and a Pakistan intelligence officer were communicating regularly with Shabnamdeep. The latter was also in touch with Sukhraj Singh Raju of Nagoke village, Tarn Taran district, who was involved in burning of liquor vends and terror-related activities, for which he was receiving money from abroad. Sukhraj contacted Shabnamdeep for the delivery of weapons to carry out targeted killings and was recently arrested by the Amritsar police,” the DGP had said after the Patiala arrest.

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