Punjab Police solve rocket propelled grenade attack case

Punjab Police have solved the rocket propelled grenade (RPG) attack case in Tarn Taran in less than a week with the busting of a foreign-controlled terrorist module leading to arrest of six persons, including the two juveniles in conflict with law, who carried out the terror attack at the police station building on December 9.

Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav, while addressing a press conference at Punjab Police Headquarters here on Friday, said the terror attack was masterminded by the foreign-based wanted terrorists Lakhbir Singh, alias Landa Harike, Satbir Singh, alias Satta, and Gurdev, alias Jaisel, with the help of Ajmeet Singh, currently lodged at Goindwal Sahib Jail.

Apart from the arrest of two juveniles in conflict with law, the remaining four module members arrested have been identified as Gurpreet Singh, alias Gopi Numberdar (18) of Naushera Pannua; Gurlal Singh, alias Gahla (19) of Chohla Sahib; Surlalpal Singh, alias Gurlal, (21); and Jobanpreet Singh, alias Joban (18) of Naushra Pannua.

Pertinently, Gopi Numberdar, who was on bail as he was arrested as a juvenile, turned 18-years-old a day after his release on November 22, 2022, and immediately got in touch with the foreign-based handlers.

The foreign-based handlers used cut-outs and dead letter box (DLB) techniques for retrieval of consignment and establishing contact so that the module members were assigned tasks directly by the handlers and were aware of only their roles. Even the identities of sub-modules remained hidden from other sub-modules.

The police teams have also recovered three pistols — two .32 bore and one .30 bore along with ammunition, one hand grenade P-86 and one motorcycle used in crime from the possession of the arrested persons.

Notably, the Soviet-era made single-use 70mm calibre RPG-26 weapon, which was used to carry out the attack, had already been recovered on December 10. The RPG-26 weapon, which was used by Mujahdeen in Afghanistan, was sourced from across the border.

DGP Yadav said that the Taran Taran police, in coordination with the Counter Intelligence Wing of Punjab Police have conducted investigations based on technical and intelligence inputs.

The investigations on ground were led by SSP Tarn Taran Gurmeet Chauhan and his team and they revealed that the attack was the handiwork of Gopi Numberdar and Gurlal Gahla, who were directly in touch with Landa Harike and Satta Naushehra.

Both Gopi Numberdar and Gurlal Gahla were apprehended from Patti Morh Sarhali on Thursday and one .32 pistol along with 15 live cartridges was recovered from their possession. The police teams have also recovered a hand grenade on the disclosure of Gopi Numberdar, he said.

DGP Yadav said during questioning, Gopi Numberdar and Gurlal Gahla revealed that the two juveniles were tasked by Landa and Satta to execute the attack on the police station Sarhali, which was aimed at creating terror in the border state.

Both accused persons further revealed that another accused Gurlal Lali had provided logistic support and also handed over Rs 1 lakh to both the juveniles, who were camping at Marhana village a couple of hours prior to the attack at the Police Station building.

DGP Yadav said during interrogation, accused Joban corroborated the disclosure of Gopi regarding retrieval of RPG and also disclosed that on the instructions of Landa and Satta, he had picked one juvenile in conflict with law from Shahbajpur village and dropped him at Marhana village on instructions of Gurdev alias Jaisel.

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