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Pak-based Khalistan Liberation Force chief Lakhbir Singh hatched 2021 Ludhiana Court complex blast: NIA

A file photo of police personnel at the blast site in the Ludhiana court complex (Photo: ANI)

Pakistan-based chief of banned terror outfit Khalistan Liberation Force and International Sikh Youth Federation chief, Lakhbir Singh Rode, was the mastermind behind the 2021 Ludhiana Court complex blast, National Investigation Agency (NIA) said in its supplementary chargesheet.

The chargesheet was filed on Monday in a special NIA court in Mohali district in Punjab against Lakhbir Singh alias Rode and Harpreet Singh alias Happy Malaysia in the Ludhiana Court complex bomb blast case, in which one person was killed and six others injured on December 23 in 2021. Rode of Moga district in Punjab is reportedly in Pakistan from where he had smuggled Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) into India for triggering explosions across Punjab, said the NIA in the chargesheet. Rode is chief of banned outfits, Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) and International Sikh Youth Federation (ISFY).

However, Happy Malaysia of Amritsar district was arrested in December 2022 at the Indian Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), Delhi, on his arrival from Malaysia.

Both the terror accused have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act 1984 in the chargesheet.

Investigations by the NIA revealed that the IED that exploded in the Ludhiana Court complex had been smuggled into Punjab by Rode from across the border, said the NIA. “He had smuggled these IEDs with the help of Pakistan-based drug smugglers and their Indian associates, including Harpreet Singh.”

The case was initially registered on December 23 in 2021 by Punjab Police and subsequently taken over by the NIA in January 2022.