Haryana, Punjab police launch hunt for former KLF terrorist

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Chandigarh, Feb 3 (UNI) The Haryana Police assisted by their Punjab counterparts have launched a massive manhunt to nab former Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) terrorist Bakhshish Singh, the suspected mastermind behind the attack on Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

The bomb explosion on the Baba's cavalcade near Nilokheri in Karnal district yesterday left nine injured. The Baba was on his way to Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh after attending a court hearing at Ambala.

A team of the Haryana Police, which reached Patiala last night, launched a joint combing operation with the Punjab Police in and around the city, including the rural areas to nab those responsible for yesterday's attack.

Official sources told UNI here today the search operations were also conducted in and around Rago Majra village, the native village of Bakhshish Singh.

The team raided the house of the former KLF terrorist, who was out on bail since 2003, but returned empty handed.

The sources said the police also raided some houses in Majri Akalian village on Sirhind Road.

Meanwhile, a report from Karnal said district police chief A S Chawala confirmed that high-powered explosives were used in the attack.

The explosive material was set aside in the rear stepney of a ten tyre truck passing alongside the Baba's convey.

Addressing mediapersons the Superintendent of Police (SP) said the explosive material was linked to the truck's battery for detonation. He said investigations revealed that the driver and cleaner of the truck were ''used'' by the main suspect, Bakhshish Singh.

He said police teams had been sent to the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for further investigation. '' We strongly suspect that Bakshish Singh was behind this incident'', he added.

Mr Chawala said the police have rounded up the driver and cleaner of the truck after the blast who were still being questioned.

No other arrests had been made so far, he added.

A team of the Forensic Laboratory, Madhuban had lifted samples from the spot of the blast for investigation.

Meanwhile, Karnal Deputy Commissioner B S Malik said the blast damaged two vehicles while injuring two rpt two people.

UNI HS SB PK HT1759

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