Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022

5-kg IED Smuggled From Pakistan Found In Punjab Village

An improvised explosive device (IED), smuggled from Pakistan into India, and Rs 1 lakh in Indian currency notes were found on Friday concealed in a bag lying on the Attari-Bachiwind road in Punjab's Amritsar, close to the India-Pakistan border.

Representative image.
Representative image. PTI

An improvised explosive device (IED), smuggled from Pakistan into India, and Rs 1 lakh in Indian currency notes were found on Friday concealed in a bag lying on the Attari-Bachiwind road in Punjab's Amritsar, close to the India-Pakistan border, police officials said.

The Special Task Force (STF) of the Punjab Police launched a search operation based on specific input about drugs and explosives, and seized the bag, they said.

Security forces are on high alert in the state as it goes to the polls on February 14.

The seizure came on a day an IED stuffed with RDX and ammonium nitrate was found inside an unattended bag at the Ghazipur flower market in Delhi.

Speaking on the explosives seized in Amritsar, the officials said with the timely seizure, a possible untoward incident was averted. After the recovery of the IED in Amritsar, the police briefly cordoned off the area.

"The IED weighing 5 kg...was found concealed in a bag on Attari-Bachiwind Road. Some Indian currency notes were also found inside," STF Assistant Inspector General Rashpal Singh, who was present at the site, told PTI over phone earlier in the day.

Later in the evening, Inspector General of Police, Amritsar, Monish Chawla, said that one yellow-coloured bag containing five kilograms of explosive material, including three electrical detonators, a digital timer and two sponge caps, besides Rs 1 lakh in Indian currency notes, wrapped in polythene bags, were seized.

Expressing apprehension about the use of the seized explosive material in the forthcoming elections in the state, he said preliminary probe suggests that there was an intention to use this material to create law and order problems in Punjab. 

"It was smuggled from Pakistan to India," he added.

He said there was specific information with the STF that Pakistani smugglers had smuggled a consignment of drug, arms and ammunition in the Amritsar Sector, and these were concealed at the Attari Bachiwind road.

This prompted the STF to launch a comprehensive search operation, Chawla said. 

On Thursday, close on the heels of busting a terror module backed by the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), the Punjab Police had said it seized 2.5 kg of RDX, besides arms and ammunition, on the disclosure of the prime accused in two recent incidents of hurling of grenades in Pathankot.

Police had also seized a detonator, a detonating cord, five explosive fuses along with wires and 12 live cartridges of AK-47 rifles, Director General of Police (DGP) V K Bhawra said here on Thursday.
The explosive material was to be used in assembling IEDs, police had said.
         "The recovery was made on the disclosure statement of accused Amandeep Kumar alias Mantri of village Lakhanpal in Gurdaspur, who is the prime accused in the two recent incidents of grenade attacks in Pathankot," the DGP was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the state police.
         Kumar was among the six ISYF operatives arrested by police on Monday. 
He has confessed to have hurled grenades in two separate incidents in Pathankot, according to the statement issued on Thursday.
         Senior Superintendent of Police, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Kanwardeep Kaur had Thursday said following the revelations made by Kumar, teams were sent to Gurdaspur district and the explosive material was recovered.
         She had said the consignment was provided to Kumar by the self-proclaimed chief of the ISYF (Rode), Lakhbir Singh Rode, who is currently residing in Pakistan, through his associate and the handler of this terror module, Sukhpreet Singh alias Sukh of Kharal village in Dinanagar.

According to the statement, since June-July last year, Rode has figured prominently in operationalising a series of terror modules through his network in Punjab and abroad.

A large number of militant hardware, including RDX, tiffin IEDs, the associated explosive material for assembling IEDs, hand grenades and firearms, as also narcotics have been pushed in by him from across the international border, mainly via drones and using his network of cross-border smugglers, the police said.

On Monday, police had said they had solved a case involving a recent grenade blast outside the gate of the Army cantonment in Pathankot by busting a major terror module backed by the ISYF with the arrest of six of its operatives.

The ISYF is believed to have the backing of Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI.