Militant was working for revival of KLF: Police Commissioner

Bakshish Singh Baba, who allegedly masterminded a bomb attack on the convoy of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief in Karnal two years ago, was recently caught here.

City Police Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma told the media, "he was associated with the defunct Khalistan Liberation Force and was working towards its revival by trying to cause series of explosions in the state at the instance of Pakistan's spy agency ISI."

"Baba at very young age joined the Bhindranwale Tiger Force of Khalistan (Sangha Group) in early 1990s. Subsequently, after the death of Sukh Ram Singh Kulara, Area Commander of BTFK, he joined Khalistan Commando Force headed by Jarnail Singh Shatrana," the Commissioner said.

Baba was caught earlier by the police but arrested Sunday. The Commissioner said the militant was arrested by the Special Operation Cell and found to be in possession of 2.3 kg RDX, one detonator, 30 bore pistol and 28 cartridges.

When asked if he had been under detention of the police for the past 2-3 days, Sharma maintained that he had been arrested today and evaded any reply on his detention or his capture earlier.

Baba, resident of Nizamniwala, Patiala district of Punjab, was wanted for "masterminding" the bomb attack on Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh in Karnal in February 2008 in which nine persons were injured.

Baba, carrying a reward of Rs five lakh on his head, was allegedly involved in several cases of terror and destruction of public property in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

He had fled to Pakistan soon after the attack on the Dera chief's convoy. Sharma said the district police of Patiala and Ludhiana Rural were on the lookout for him due to his alleged involvement in planting Improvised Explosive Devices at the LPG Bottling Plant at Nabha on January 18 and at Air Force Station Halwara on January 25.

"Baba has confessed to having planned and executed the attack on Sirsa Dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh in Karnal in February, 2008, in which the sect head escaped unhurt. Baba's associates were arrested by Karnal Police but he had managed to escape. Haryana Police had declared an award of Rs one lakh for giving information about his whereabouts," the Commissioner said.

"After the series of recoveries of IEDs in Punjab at places like Nabha, Halwara and Amritsar recently, the Punjab Police also announced an award of Rs five lakh to anyone giving information about Baba," he said.

Baba had escaped to Malaysia with the help of one Harminder Singh alias Mintu of Goa, another wanted terrorist and managed to reach Pakistan, Sharma said.

The Police Commissioner said Baba was involved in more than two dozen terrorist cases including causing bomb blasts, murders, kidnappings for ransom, possession of high grade explosive, sheltering of various terrorists, planting IEDs, in various states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Punjab.

He was previously arrested on August 21, 1999 by Delhi Police and was later lodged in Nabha jail in Punjab till January, 2005.

The official claimed Baba confessed to planting an IED on a cycle in Amritsar on May 1 to cause an explosion. The abandoned cycle with mobile phone was spotted in the night by a watchman and when he had tried to operate the cellphone it went off, injuring him.

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