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Posted at: Sep 22, 2019, 7:59 PM; last updated: Sep 23, 2019, 7:07 AM (IST)

Punjab Police bust terror module as 4 arrested with AK-47s

Probe handed over to NIA
Punjab Police bust terror module as 4 arrested with AK-47s
Five AK-47 rifles, pistols, satellite phones and hand grenades were seized. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 22

In another major crackdown, the Punjab Police have busted a terrorist module of the revived Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), purportedly backed by a Pakistan and Germany-based group.

The group was conspiring to unleash a series of strikes in Punjab and adjoining areas and police seized a huge cache of arms, including five AK-47 rifles, pistols, satellite phones and hand grenades from them, the police said. 

Given the international links, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has decided to hand over further investigations in the case to NIA to ensure that the entire conspiracy is unravelled.

With initial investigations revealing the use of drones to deliver terrorists weapons and communication hardware across the border, the chief minister has also urged the Central government to direct the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Border Security Force (BSF) to launch necessary counter-measures to check any further threat from drones to the border state of Punjab.

According to DGP Dinkar Gupta, the weapons were suspected to have been delivered recently across the Indo-Pak border from Pakistan over drones launched by the Pak establishment, the ISI, and the state-sponsored Jihadi and pro-Khalistani terrorist outfits working under its command.

Gupta said the large-scale infiltration appeared to have been aimed at scaling terrorism and militancy in J&K, Punjab and other states in wake of the recent developments in the Valley.

Gupta disclosed that the operation was based on different inputs gathered from sources that activists of the banned KZF planned to carry out multiple terrorist strikes in J&K, Punjab and other states.

In an operation carried out by Ketan Baliram Patil, AIG/Counter Intelligence, Amritsar, along with various Punjab Police teams based in Chandigarh, four module members have been arrested and a large quantity of arms, ammunition, explosives and communication devices, has been seized by the Counter-Intelligence Wing of Punjab Police.

Disclosing this here on Sunday, DGP Dinkar Gupta said the module was backed by Pakistan-based chief of KZF, Ranjeet Singh alias Neeta, and his Germany-based associate Gurmeet Singh alias Bagga alias Doctor, who had re-organised their terrorist group to revive terrorism in Punjab.

With the help of local sleeper cells, they had spotted, radicalised and recruited local members, besides arranging funds and sophisticated weapons from across the border.

Those arrested have been identified as Balwant Singh alias Baba alias Nihang, Akashdeep Singh alias Akash Randhawa, Harbhajan Singh and Balbir Singh.

Both Akashdeep and Baba Balwant Singh have a criminal past with multiple criminal cases against them.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that Maan Singh, currently lodged in Amritsar jail in an Arms Act and UAPA case, at the behest of his handler Gurmeet Singh alias Bagga, had recruited Akashdeep Singh, when they were lodged together in Amritsar jail.

Recipient of the consignment, Baba Balwant Singh is a member of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist organisation, and was earlier arrested in a UAPA and Arms Act case in PS Mukandpur (SBS Nagar), and is presently on bail and facing trial in that case.

Altogether five AK-47 rifles (along with 16 magazines and 472 rounds of ammunition), four Chinese-made .30 bore pistols (along with 8 magazines and 72 rounds of ammunition), nine hand grenades, five Thuraya satellite phones along with their ancillary equipment, two mobile phones, two wireless sets and Rs 10 lakh Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) have been recovered from them. 

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