Jagraon, Jun 17 (UNI) The Punjab Police arrested two suspected terrorists with 24 kg explosive materil and in the process foiled a major terrorist plot to assassinate the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head, Baba Gurmit Ram Raheem Singh and Piara Singh Bhaniarwala, head of a religious sect in the state.
The arrests were made near Akhara village on the Raikot-Jagraon road in Ludhiana Rural police district last night.
Giving details, IGP (Jalandhar zone) Sanjiv Kalra told mediapersons here today that during routine patroling a police party stopped a motorcycle and on checking the baggage of the pillon rider found 195 sticks of black coloured material and 25 detonators and cordex wire. Later explosive experts of the police concluded that the sticks with markings of a Nagpur firm and weighing 24 kg was some form of explosive material.
The IGP said that the detonators bore the name of some factory in Andhra Pradesh which was not readable. The explosive material according to the experts was certainly not RDX but it was an equally powerful material, he added while pointing out that after thorough interrogation of the two arrested terrorists would the police be able to confirm how the detonators and explosive sticks got into their possession.
The two arrested terrorists were identified as Gurpej Singh alias Sonu of Kathunangal village in Amritsar district and Manjit Singh of Jagraon. The two according to the IGP had links with a Hamburg (Germany) based terrorist sympathiser, Gurmit Singh Bagga.
However the two were not working for any specified Punjab terrorist outfit but had contacts with certain groups.
Mr Kalra said that their prime target was Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh and Piara Singh Bhaniarwala, besides they had also planned to carry out bomb explosions in congested localities in the major cities of Punjab. The police was yet to estabish a link between these two suspected terrorists and the three arrested recently in Jammu who too had planned to eliminate the Dera Sacha Sauda head and Bhaniarwala.
The police has also not been able to establish a link between the two arrested terrorists and those who were responsible for the Shingar cinema bomb explosion in Ludhiana last year which left six dead.
Both Ram Raheem and Bhaniarwala have been accused by Sikh radicals of distorting teachings of the Sikh gurus. The Dera head had a couple of months back survived an assassination attempt near Karnal in Haryana.
UNI XC-HS JMK1436