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Amritsar serial low intensity blasts may have a Khalistani angle

Masterminds of low intensity blasts in Amritsar were responding to separatist Amritpal Singh’s arrest (Image courtesy: Twitter)

Interrogation of the five arrested following the serial low-intensity blasts reveals that the accused wanted to catch the eye of Khalistani supremos, and show their resentment to the arrest of Khalistani separatist Amritpal Singh.

It now becomes alarmingly clear that the five arrested by police and sent to judicial custody were not just radicalised but were also getting foreign funding. The attacks which were initially seen as an act by miscreants has now been dubbed as an act of terror.

“They were radicalised by social media preaching of pro Khalistani groups and carried out explosions to make a statement. We have found evidence of foreign connections, border visits and are investigating. They have confessed to pro Khalistani motives, ” said a senior Punjab police official while speaking to Indianarrative.com.

According to the FIR registered by Amritsar police in this case, the accused were in constant touch with their foreign-based handlers and got funding from different channels for carrying out the terror activities starting with three explosions near Golden Temple between May 6 and 11. The police in its investigation also found that one of the prime accused Amrik Singh, was also in contact with a pro-Khalistani leader of Punjab. They have also been spotted near the border on several instances and police suspect their involvement in cross border drug cartels as they themselves were addicts.

The accused in the recent Amritsar explosions case are Azad Bir Singh (36) of Wadala Kalan village in Baba Bakala, Amrik Singh of Gurdaspur, Saheb Singh of Gate Hakima Angarh, Dharminder and Harjeet, both resident of 88 feet road in Amritsar. An FIR number 49/2023 dated May 11, 2023 has been registered under Section 9B of the Explosive Act, Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act, Sections 13, 16, 18 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered against them at police station E-Division, Amritsar city. The police teams also recovered 1.1-kg mixture of chlorates and bromides (material used to make crackers) and mobile phones from their possession.

The intelligence agencies meanwhile have also found a letter citing reasons behind the blasts from the explosion site. According to intelligence sleuths while the letters were tattered in the first two blasts it was recovered from the site of the third blast.  Accused Azad bir Singh wrote the letters in Punjabi and reportedly confessed that blasts were not to harm anyone but make a statement and had the first letter been recovered there would have not been other two blasts. “The letter mentions that they were upset over three things. First being unwarranted action against Amritpal Singh, second being social media statements about Punjab not being part of India after a girl was allegedly denied entry into the Golden Temple because she had a flag (similar to the Tricolour) painted on her face. They also expressed disappointment at the cutting of hair and trimming of beard by the Sikh youth and easy availability of tobacco in Amritsar”, revealed an investigating officer.

Azad Bir is already booked for hurting religious sentiments in Chheharta Police station in Amritsar, and his aides indulge in anti-national and anti-social activities. The investigating agencies are also probing the connection of accused, if any, with Panjwar murder in Pakistan. They are quizzing the accused about Taran Taran’s 2019 Pandori Gola blast, to ascertain the suspected foreign links of the arrested five accused. The explosive used in the Pandori Gola blast was also procured from the Angarh area of Amritsar from where explosives were bought this time. Two persons had died while another one was injured in the Pandoori Gola village blast, which had occurred when the deceased and the injured persons were trying to retrieve the explosive from an abandoned plot in September 2019. Meanwhile taking cognizance of the fact that one of the accused in explosions is a woman, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has deputed a woman force at all the entry points of the Golden Temple for frisking.

SGPC general secretary Gurcharan Singh Grewal while speaking to Indianarrative.com said all these steps have been taken up to beef up the security. “It is for the first time women staffers have deputed at the entry points and an LED screen has been installed. This screen will display information about dos and don’ts in Punjabi, Hindi and English”, he said.

Also read: Third blast in Amritsar triggers heavy police deployment at Golden Temple, five arrested