Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Punjab RPG attack: Two juveniles among six held, says police

The Punjab Police on Friday arrested four people and apprehended two juveniles in connection with the recent rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack at a police station in Tarn Taran district here.
The attack was carried out at the directions of an intelligence agency of the neighbouring country, Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav said pointing to Pakistan.
The accused have been identified as Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi (18), of Naushera Pannuan, Gurlal Singh Gahla (19) of Chohla Sahib, Gurlal Singh alias Lali (21) village Thathiya Mahanta, Jobanpreet Singh alias Joban (18) of Naushera Pannuan, and two juveniles, he said.
The RPG was fired at the Sarhali police station in Tarn Taran on December 9, the second such attack in the state in the last seven months. There was no casualty in the incident. The attack evoked a sharp reaction from the opposition parties against the AAP government over the law and order situation in the state.
Earlier in May, an RPG was fired at the Punjab Police’s intelligence headquarters located in Mohali.
Addressing the media here on Friday, Yadav said investigations revealed that the mastermind behind the incident was Canada-based gangster Lakhbir Singh Landa, a wanted Canada-based gangster.
During the investigation, it came to the fore that Landa got the attack executed through two Europe-based handlers — Satbir Singh Satta and Gurdev Singh Jaisel — on the directions of the intelligence agency of the neighbouring country, he said. They also took the help of Ajmeet Singh, who is currently lodged in Punjab’s Goindwal Sahib jail, the DGP said.
A Soviet-era-made single-use 70 mm calibre RPG-26, favoured by Mujahideen in Afghanistan, was used in the attack and was sourced from across the border, he said.
The two juveniles, who fired the RPG, learned to operate the weapon through YouTube videos and instructions given by Landa on a video call, the DGP said while noting that no physical training was provided to them.
Police also recovered three pistols — two .32 bore and one .30 bore — along with ammunition, a hand grenade P-86 and a motorcycle used in the crime from the possession of the arrested people, he said.
The DGP said each module member which was involved in the crime did not know the other.
The Taran Taran police, in coordination with the Counter Intelligence Wing of the Punjab Police, conducted meticulous investigations based on technical and intelligence inputs, he said.
The investigations which were led by Senior Superintendent of Police of Tarn Taran Gurmeet Chauhan revealed that the attack was the handiwork of Gurpteet Gopi and Gurlal Gahla, who were directly in touch with Landa and Satta, Yadav said.
Gopi and Gahla were apprehended from Patti Morh Sarhali on Thursday and a .32 pistol along with 15 live cartridges was recovered from their possession, he said.
Police also recovered a hand grenade on the disclosure of Gopi, he said.
Investigations revealed that Gopi received funding of Rs 8.5 lakh and one .30 bore pistol along with some live cartridges, the DGP said.
On December 1, Gopi along with Gahla and Jobanpreet Joban retrieved consignment containing RPG from village Jhander in Tarn Taran and dumped it at a spot near village Marhana in Tarn Taran, he said.
The duo revealed that the two juveniles were tasked by Landa and Satta to execute the attack at the police station Sarhali, which was aimed at creating terror in the border state, the DGP said.
Another accused Gurlal Lali had provided logistic support and also handed over Rs 1 lakh to both the juveniles, who were camping at village Marhana a couple of hours before the attack, he said.
Yadav said police arrested Jobanpreet Joban and Gurlal Lali from near Naushehra Pannuan and recovered one .30 bore pistol along with 35 live cartridges and a motorcycle used in the crime from his possession.
The juvenile attackers were apprehended from a tubewell at Chamba village and police recovered one .32 bore pistol along with 15 live cartridges from their possession, the DGP said, adding that after the attack, they both fled to village Saido and took shelter in a tubewell room arranged by Landa.

SourcePTI
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