PM's warning on terrorism rings true

Suspected ultras held in Delhi and Ludhiana; explosives recovered

PM's warning on terrorism rings true


LOOKING FOR CLUES: Policemen inspect equipment seized from the arrested terrorist in New Dehi on Tuesday. PT

Around the same time, another suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist was arrested from Delhi and explosives recovered from him, Delhi police sources said.

The firing at Ludhiana station took place when the two GRP constables of the narcotics cell tried to check the bag of the suspected terrorist in the Jammu-bound Jhelum Express, which arrived here from Pune around 3.30 am at platform No 4.

The man, identified as Balbir Singh Bhootna, immediately got down and hid himself near a compartment of the Jhelum Express and opened fire at the police personnel who retaliated from the platform.

After an exchange of fire, lasting around an hour, the suspected terrorist and a woman identified as Sukhminder Kaur (30) accompanying him were arrested by the police, Ludhiana Senior Superintendent of Police Sukhchain Singh said.

Police sources said Bhootna was wanted since 1990 in connection with as many as 10 cases related to murder, snatching, extortion, trespassing and possession of illegal arms under the Arms Act, the Explosives Act and TADA registered against him at various places, including Ferozepur and Jalandhar.

Bhootna is also suspected to be the mastermind of the recent killing of a Rashtriya Sikh Sangat leader at Patiala, the sources said. The vendor was killed on the spot, GRP Superintendent of Police S J P Sharma said.

Two head constables Karanpal Singh and Naranjan Singh, who were injured in the firing, were rushed to a local hospital, he said.Normal traffic along the tracks in Ludhiana which was disrupted following the incident was restored at around 7 am when the operation ended, he said.

Police believe the suspected terrorist and the woman had arrived by the Jhelum Express from Nanded after boarding the train at Manmad in Maharashtra. Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) (Railway) Chander Shekhar said Bhootna was a resident of Mauli Wala village in Ferozepur district.

Bhootna had fired from a .9mm pistol which was seized by the police, the ADGP said without giving details of his group affiliation, saying it would hamper investigations.
The police are also trying to ascertain the relationship of the arrested woman accompanying Bhootna, he added.

Bhootna was declared a proclaimed offender in a case of recovery of arms and ammunition in Jalandhar district about three years back, police said. He was also arrested by Jammu police while crossing over to India and an AK-47 assault rifle and some explosives were recovered from him. He is said to have received training in handling sophisticated weapons and explosives during his visit to Pakistan in 2005-06.

In Delhi, the suspected LeT man who alighted from a train at New Delhi railway station was nabbed by Delhi Police’s Special Cell around 12:40 pm, DCP(Special Cell) Alok Kumar said. He was carrying an identity card bearing the name Salim as also a Pakistani passport bearing the name Yusuf, Kumar said, adding detonators and explosive chemicals were recovered from him.

Asked if the recovered chemical weighing around two kg was RDX, he said, “it looks like.” He said they were trying to ascertain his identity as well as his mission in the national capital.

He is the second terrorist to be arrested by Delhi Police this month. On August 6, two suspected Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were arrested.

Hizb militants Javed Ahmed Tantray and Ashiq Ali Bhatt had met the outfit chief Syed Salahuddin a few months back in terrorist camps in PoK. Police claimed that Salahuddin had asked them to strike terror in India ahead of Independence Day. The arrested men received arms and religious training in PoK and had met Salahuddin several times.

Joint Commissioner (Special Cell) P N Aggarwal said four detonators and two timers were recovered from the 27-year-old suspected terrorist. “Some chemical type materials were also recovered from him,” he said. Asked where the terrorist came from, he said he would be able reveal details only after the suspect’s interrogation.

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