IEDs were meant for targeting trains, public places: Ludhiana blast accused

ISI-supported groups used to give Rs 5 lakh for retrieving and planting IEDs

IEDs were meant for targeting trains, public places: Ludhiana blast accused

The Ludhiana court complex after the blast in December 2021. File

Tribune News Service

PK Jaiswar

Amritsar, May 22

Trains and public places were the intended targets for planting improvised explosive device (IEDs) so as to cause blasts and disturb peace in Punjab.

This came to light during the interrogation of drugs and arms trafficker Surmukh Singh and his courier Dilbagh Singh (alias Baggo), who were arrested by the special task force (STF) in connection with the December 23 Ludhiana court blast.

The STF was on trail of persons involved in cross-border drugs and arms smuggling when it found their involvement in retrieving the IED used in the Ludhiana court blast. Besides Surmukh and Dilbagh Singh, it nabbed three other persons, including Sawinder Singh (alias Bhola) of Dhanoe Khurd village, Harpreet Singh of Dhanoe Khurd and a juvenile, and also seized 1kg heroin. “The prime motive behind planting IEDs in trains and crowded places was to cause maximum damage,” said an STF official. Their interrogation revealed that Dilbagh used to retrieve for Surmukh consignments from near the International Border after these were dropped there by drones. They used to get Rs 5 lakh from ISI-supported separatist groups for retrieving and planting IEDs. For retrieving a heroin consignment, they used to get Rs 2 lakh.

In February, Surmukh was arrested by the Punjab Police in connection with January 14 seizure of an IED containing 2.7 kg RDX, along with 1.36 kg iron balls, from Dhanoe Kalan village along the Attari-Bachiwind road. His arrest led to the seizure of two more IEDs.

Dilbagh Singh owns around 4 acres across the barbed border fence. Taking advantage of that, he acted as a courier for smuggling drugs and arms, an official said.

Dilbagh Singh retrieved an IED from near the border and later handed that over to Gagandeep Singh who died while planting the same in the Ludhiana court.

The Punjab Police have been on the alert in view of the upcoming anniversary of Operation Blue Star on June 6.

Rs 5 lakh for planting explosives

  • Dilbagh Singh, who owns 4 acres across the barbed border fence, used to retrieve for Surmukh consignments from near the International Border after these were dropped there by drones
  • They used to get Rs 5 lakh from ISI-supported groups for retrieving and planting IEDs and Rs 2 lakh for retrieving a heroin consignment

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