Addressing a press conference at the police headquarters where he said that counter-intelligence officials and the Mohali police had jointly cracked the case, Bhawra identified the key conspirator behind the attack as a gangster Lakhbir Singh Landa, who hails from Tarn Taran district but has been in Canada since 2017. The DGP said Landa was a close associate of Harwinder Rinda, who was close to BKI chief Wadhawa Singh and the ISI.
“He (Landa) is based in Canada. He is still involved in making ransom calls to doctors, businessmen, singers, etc,” Bhawra said.
“As per our assessment, it (the attack) was more to give a signal. (Such a) time (was) chosen when all officers had gone… the Punjab Police is capable of dealing with such cases,” the DGP underlined.
Two of the attackers who came from “outside” and who had carried out the blast were yet to be arrested, along with another resident of Tarn Taran district – Charhat Singh, who did a recce of the intelligence headquarters, he added.
Asked about the attackers, Bhawra said, “Foot soldiers are being arranged by the gangsters”.
The police have also arrested Jagdeep Kang, whom the DGP said was the “local contact” of the entire module. The others arrested are Kanwar Bath, Baljit Kaur, Anantdeep Singh Sonu, Baljinder Singh Rambo and Nishan Singh, a resident of Kulla village in Tarn Taran who was arrested by the Faridkot police in a separate case. The DGP said he would be arrested in the Mohali blast case too.
Bhawra explained that Nishan Singh provided shelter to the “outsider” accused, who carried out the attack, at various places including his own residence. He said the attackers stayed in border districts for around 15 days and moved from there on May 7 and launched the attack on May 9 at Mohali.
On the instructions of Landa, Nishan Singh procured the RPG used in the attack, which was of Russian or Bulgarian origin, the DGP pointed out.
Baljinder Singh Rambo, also a native of Tarn Taran, procured an AK-47 and handed it over to Charhat Singh, he said, adding that all the arrested accused were residents of Tarn Taran and Amritsar districts. Sonu was Nishan’s brother-in-law and helped to arrange shelter for the accused.
“We are questioning two persons from Noida – Mohammad Nasim Alam and Mohammad Sharaf Raj. They are residents of Bihar.”
Referring to similar incidents at Pathankot, Nawanshahr and Ropar, he said, “Police and defence installations are targets of terrorists organisations by virtue of our profession.”