Mohali attack: Punjab CM says arrests made, promises strictest punishment

Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) V K Bhawra said they have got a few leads and the case will be solved soon
Last Updated 10 May 2022, 12:36 IST

A day after a rocket-propelled grenade attack on the Mohali-based intelligence wing headquarters of the Punjab police, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday said "some arrests" have been made and the strictest punishment will be meted out to those trying to spoil the state's atmosphere.

Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) V K Bhawra said they have got a few leads and the case will be solved soon.

At a meeting with the chief minister, the DGP informed the former that some suspects have been taken into custody for interrogation.

A rocket-propelled grenade was fired at the third floor of the highly-guarded building in Mohali's Sector 77 at 7:45 pm on Monday, following which an alert was sounded in Punjab.

The chief minister held a meeting with the DGP and top officials of the intelligence wing on Tuesday and directed the state police chief to probe the matter thoroughly.

Mann said nobody would be allowed to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in Punjab, adding that a few inimical forces are constantly trying to foment trouble across the state, but they will never succeed in their nefarious designs.

After his meeting with the DGP, the chief minister said, "Some arrests have been made and more will be made. Whoever tries to spoil the atmosphere of Punjab will not be spared and the strictest punishment will be given to them, which their coming generations will remember."

Later, after a meeting with senior officials at the intelligence wing headquarters, Bhawra told reporters in Mohali that a projectile had hit the building and the explosive used in it seems to be TNT (trinitrotoluene).

"There was nobody in the room when the incident occurred. The impact was on the wall," the DGP said.

"But it is a challenge and we are making all-out efforts to solve the case," he added.

To a question on whether it was a terror attack or there was any Khalistani angle in it, Bhawra said whatever comes out of the investigation, "we will let you know".

"We have leads and we will soon solve this case," he said.

Preliminary investigations pointed toward the involvement of two men who came in a car and used an RPG for firing at the building.

The incident is being seen as a major intelligence failure as the building houses the state counter-intelligence wing, the special task force, the anti-gangster task force and some other units.

Police are also suspecting the involvement of gangster-turned-terrorist Harvinder Singh Rinda, who is believed to be in Pakistan, in the incident.

Rinda has been taking the help of local gangsters to carry out anti-national activities here, police sources said.

His name figured when a terror plot was foiled recently with the arrest of four suspected Pakistan-linked terrorists in Haryana's Karnal. Rinda's involvement was also detected in a hand-grenade attack at the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) office in Nawanshahr last month.

The Punjab police have registered a case under relevant sections of the IPC, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act and the Explosives Act at Sohana police station in Mohali.

The incident took place days after the arrest of four suspected Pakistan linked terrorists in Haryana's Karnal and the arrest of two people with the recovery of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) packed with 1.50 kg RDX from Tarn Taran district in Punjab.

The explosion also came close on the heels of the recovery of an explosive device near the Burail Jail in Chandigarh on April 24.

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal said the explosion was "a cowardly act" and his party's government in the state will ensure that the culprits get the "strictest punishment", while the opposition parties described the incident as "disturbing" and "shocking".

Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Partap Singh Bajwa said the attack was worrying and posed a threat to the hard-earned peace in the state.

"RPG attack on Punjab Police intelligence wing office in Mohali is worrying. This is after RDX was found a few days back in Tarn Taran. Punjab has been through dark times already, we can't afford to damage the hard-earned peace of Punjab," Bajwa said in a tweet.

Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma said the blast at the building of the intelligence headquarters is a matter of concern and expressed surprise over the local police describing it as a "minor" explosion.

The Mohali police had on Monday said a minor explosion was reported at the headquarters.

"The chief minister needs to pay attention to the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab," Sharma said in a tweet.

(Published 10 May 2022, 12:36 IST)

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