AMRITSAR 11 May 2023—
Three mysterious blasts in a row at Heritage Street of Golden Temple Amritsar in five days set alarm bells ringing in the holy city and around. The 3rd blast took place at about 12.30 am which proved to be the final blow to the conspiracy, with the arrest of five accused and a woman held in custody by Punjab police.
The five arrested include Azad Veer Singh, Amrik Singh, Dharminder Singh, Harjeet Singh, and Sahib Singh, all residents of Amritsar and Gurdaspur. All accused belong to the Sikh community pointing a finger at radicalization, initiated among youth in the recent past by Amritpal Singh, who is now under arrest.
Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav while briefing the media on Thursday said ‘low-grade explosives of fluorides and bromides mixed with a mixture of sulphur and potash that was sourced from Anngarh area- notorious for making of illegal country made liquor, were seized. After the 3rd blast in the early hours today i.e. 11th May, police laid siege and overpowered the five-member terrorist gang. In the preliminary interrogation itself, the arrested terrorists made big revelations by accepting their crime”, he added.
The DGP revealed- the suspects included Azad Veer and Amrik Singh staying in the Guru Ram Dass Sarai (inn) located in the Golden Temple complex for the past several days and had assembled the explosives while Dharminder Singh, Harjeet Singh, and Sahib were held for sourcing and providing explosives.
Sahib Singh was a licensed holder of explosives used in the manufacturing of firecrackers. A woman, the wife of an accused, staying with him in the Sarai near the blast spot was being probed. Police recovered 1.1kg of explosive material besides radical literature from their possession.
DGP while briefing about the modus operandi of the accused said -“ The arrested terrorists told that they bought the material for making firecrackers and took a trial by putting stones in it, in which they were successful and started preparing bombs. Azad Veer Singh went to the bathroom of the inn and threw the bomb on the Galliara (Golden Temple Corridor)side behind the Sarai at around 12.12 am today. The police cordoned the area even as a probe and scanning of CCTV cameras inside the Guru Ram Dass Sarai were ongoing for the previous two blasts, which led to these suspects. He said the accused confessed to the earlier explosions at Heritage Street also. Their links in India and abroad will be exposed,” the DGP added. that pictures from their mobiles showed explosive assembling establishing their links. They were booked under Narcotics Act and Explosives Act.
SERIAL BLASTS SEQUENCE :
· May 6: For the first blast on 6th May, the accused assembled 200gm of explosives in a container and hung them in a polythene bag from a thread from the rooftop of Saragarhi parking falling on Heritage Street, which exploded at around 11.30 pm.
· May 8: Accused Azad Veer kept another bomb at the rooftop on May 8, around 4 am, and left the scene. It was connected with a thread, which was pulled by a passer-by leading to the blast at the same spot at around 6.30 am.
· May 11: Accused Azad Veer Singh assembled a bomb and went to the bathroom of the inn and blasted the third bomb in the park behind it in the early hours at 12.30 am today following which five accused and a woman were nabbed.
Amritsar blasts: SGPC releases CCTV footage, questions Punjab Police ‘leniency’
The prompt action of the SGPC’s employees led to the arrests, claimed the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) President Harjinder Singh Dhami. The incidents of explosions near Golden Temple are the result of the government’s failure, accused Dhami, while talking to the media. And said that “If the government had seriously investigated the two blasts on the heritage road in the past, then this latest incident would not have happened”.
Giving information about the incident, he said that after hearing a loud explosion around 12:10 last night, the SGPC employees immediately took action, identifying the perpetrators of the incident through CCTV cameras, they caught the accused from the verandah of Sri Guru Ramdas Sarai at around 4:15 am and handed them to the police. And added –“It is extremely worrying that actions are being taken to worsen the situation in Punjab”. He expressed apprehension of some deep conspiracy, behind the blasts
BOX Radical Fallout
It is being increasingly speculated by experts that a potent mix of radicalization and a foreign hand could be a possibility in the incident of three blasts near the Golden Temple. According to Baljit BaliEditor Babushahi Online news portal, radicalization is an important factor that came into the picture via the Amritpal Singh episode. Other experts on conditions of Anonymity point to India’s neutrality in the Ukraine-Russian war, where India refused to toe the line of the Western bloc and refused to be a part of sanctions against Russia.
This fallout manifested itself in the form of recent incidents that seemed inter-linked
· Security lapse and disrespect to the Indian flag at the Indian embassy in the UK
· Increased attacks on Hindu temples in Australia
· BBC documentary pointing an accusing finger at PM Modi for Gujarat Riots
· The entry of Amritpal Sikh a radical Sikh on the Punjab horizon.
· The storming of a police station in Ajnala near Amritsar and making off with a jailed inmate using Sikh Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib as a shield by a mob led by Amritpal
· Three bomb blasts near the holiest Sikh shrine in Amritsar