The RPG attack on the Punjab Police Intelligence Wing headquarters in Mohali was carried out by the banned pro-Khalistan group Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) as well as ‘gangsters’ with the backing of Inter -Pakistan’s Intelligence Services (ISI), police said on Friday. , adding that six people involved in the case have been arrested.
At a press conference, Police Director General VK Bhawra said three other people, including two “foreigners”, had led Monday’s strike and had not yet been arrested. The third person was a resident of the Tarn Taran district, Charhat Singh, said the DGP.
Those arrested had helped the attackers with shelter, logistics and weapons.
Five of them are Jagdeep Kang, Kanwar Bath, Baljit Kaur, Anantdeep Singh Sonu and Baljinder Singh “Rambo”. The sixth is Nishan Singh, a resident of Kulla village in Tarn Taran district, who was arrested by Faridkot police in another case. The DGP said he would also be arrested in the Mohali case.
Bhawra identified the key conspirator in the case as one Lakhvir Singh Landa, a gangster from Tarn Taran district who has been in Canada since 2017. Bhawra said Landa was a close associate of one Harwinder Rinda, who was close to the head of BKI Wadhawa Singh and ISI.
“The attack was carried out by an axis of Babbar Khalsa International and gangsters with the support of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence,” he said.
Asked about the attackers, Bhawra said, “There are foot soldiers being organized by the gangsters.”
He also described the roles played by the defendants.
Charhat Singh had conducted a reconnaissance of the intelligence headquarters with Kang, a resident of Mohali, on the day of the attack.
Kang was the module’s “local contact”. Nishan Singh provided shelter for the “foreign” attackers – at his residence, as well as at the houses in Kanwar Bath and Baljit Kaur.
Sonu, the DGP said, was Nishan Singh’s brother-in-law and helped organize a shelter.
The DGP said the attackers stayed in the border districts for about 15 days, departed from there on May 7 and launched the attack on May 9.
On Landa’s instructions, Nishan received the rocket-propelled grenade used in the attack, the DGP said, adding that the weapon was either of Russian or Bulgarian origin.
Bhawra said “Rambo”, a resident of Tarn Taran, also received an AK-47 and handed it over to Charhat Singh.
On Landa, the DGP said: “He is based in Canada. He is still implicated in ransom calls to doctors, businessmen, singers, etc.
The DGP said the attack was intended to send a signal. “[Such a] weather [was] chosen when all the officers were gone,” he said.
The accused arrested
Nichan Singh: A resident of the village of Kulla in the Tarn Taran district, he reportedly provided shelter for the attackers and retrieved and handed over the RPG on Landa’s instructions. Nishan was convicted in more than a dozen cases from August 2012 to January this year for offenses including murder, attempted murder and drugs. He was released from Faridkot prison about two months ago after being acquitted in one such case. He continues to stand trial in a number of other cases against him.
Anantdeep Singh aka Sonu: A resident of the Guru Nanak settlement in Amritsar, he is Nishan’s brother-in-law and is said to have assisted the unknown accused in providing local support in Amritsar.
Kanwarjit Singh aka Kanwar Bath: A resident of Gumtala in Amritsar, he had been in contact with Nishan for many years and allegedly provided shelter for the two unknown defendants.
Baljit Kaur aka Sukhi: A resident of Kot Khalsa in Amritsar, he runs a tea stall near Amritsar railway station and reportedly provided shelter for the two unknown defendants at Nishan’s request from April 28 to May 7.
Baljinder Singh aka Rambo: A resident of Patti, he was previously arrested in a drug case and is believed to be a drug addict. On Nishan’s instructions, he handed over the shipment of AK-47s to Charhat Singh and two unknown persons on the Kulla-Patti road.
Jagdeep Singh Kang: A resident of Mohali, Jagdeep reportedly recognized the intelligence wing headquarters of the Punjab Police with Charhat Singh on May 9 before the RPG attack was carried out around 7:45 p.m. We learn that the police took possession of the Toyota Fortuner used during the reconnaissance. Kang was arrested at the Ashoka Hotel in Delhi on Thursday and is in pre-trial detention until May 21 after being arraigned in a local court.
Those wanted in the case
Lakhbir Singh Landa: The 33-year-old, who police say is a gangster and is from Harike in the Tarn Taran district, currently resides in Saskatoon, Canada. According to the Punjab Police, Landa is “a repeat offender” and “various criminal cases of murder, attempted murder, extortion, drug trafficking, kidnapping and illegal weapons have been registered against him in different posts. Punjab Police Force”. The filing further reads: “He is a close associate of wanted mobster Harvinder Singh Rinda and arrested mobster Dilpreet Singh alias Baba Dahan.” The file points out: “These gangsters used Lakhbir alias Landa as a communication exchange and demand ransom, extortion through him. Landa built his criminal network across the state. He fled to Canada in 2017.”
It further read: “Operating from Canada, it uses petty criminals for contract killings, extortion, ransoms, etc. He threatens rich people (businessmen, doctors, celebrities, etc.) to get a huge amount of extortion money from them.
The filing mentions a number of criminal activities carried out allegedly at the instance of Landa, including the illegal seizure of disputed land in the village of Lakhna under the Valtoha police station in June 2021; kidnapping of a car in March 2021 in Sarhali; and demanding and extorting money from an arhtiya (commissioner) in the village of Sheron in the district of Tarn Taran; an Amritsar-based doctor whose son’s car was later ripped off; and fired shots at the house of a Punjabi singer. Landa allegedly carried out all these criminal activities by entrusting them to his associate Preet Sekhon. The filing also links Landa to Patti’s double murder case, noting that “on May 27, 2021, like Landa, Preet Sekhon and Jarmanjit murdered Amandeep Singh alias Fauji and Prabhdeep Singh alias Pooran.
Role in Mohali attack case: Landa, according to the police, is one of the main conspirators. “He used his local network of criminals for logistical support. He facilitated the movements and hiding places of the main defendants. He is also involved in organizing weapons and explosives in the case. The RPG used in the case and other weapons were recovered by his associates at his request and were later handed over to the main defendant. Charhat and Nishan were working on his instructions,” reads a memo about his role in the Mohali blast case.
Charhat Singh: A 33-year-old resident of Mehadipur village in Tarn Taran district, Charhat allegedly “initially received two unknown defendants and provided them with hiding places and other logistical support in Amritsar”. He reportedly did a reconnaissance of the intelligence headquarters with Kang and then accompanied the attackers when they launched the RPG attack. He is serving a life sentence in a murder case registered at Khemkaran police station and was on parole.
Two unknown defendants: DGP Bhawra described them as ‘outsiders’ and, while answering a question about their identities, said gangsters were dealing with the ‘foot soldiers’.