Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], Nov 24 (ANI): Punjab Police on Saturday claimed to have arrested Avatar Singh, the second accused in Nirankari Satsang Bhawan grenade attack case. The blast had claimed three lives and left around 20 people injured. Also Read - Swanky Makeover: Railway Ministry Shares Glimpses of Futuristic New Delhi Railway Station | See Photos

Speaking to ANI Punjab’s Director General of Police (DGP) Suresh Arora said, “Police had caught hold of Bikramjit, one of the accused. It was his examination that led to the arrest of Avatar Singh and recovery of the weapon. The preliminary finding reveals that Paramjit Baba, who I think is Italy based, was instigating Avatar to commit the crime.” Also Read - Nagaland's Dzukou Valley Wildfire Likely to be Fully Doused in 24 Hours: Officials

Addressing media persons in Chandigarh, DGP Arora said, “Avatar would be produced in the court and the police would seek his remand. There is a strong evidence against the suspects caught in the case.” Also Read - Watch: IAF Chopper Lifts Water in Bambi Bucket To Douse Forest Fire Nagaland's Dzukou Range

According to Arora, Avatar’s links have also been traced to Harmeet Singh Happy alias PhD, the self- styled chief of ISI-backed KLF, based in Pakistan. “Happy has emerged as the most active leader of Punjab based outfits working under the watch and directions of the Pak ISI, which is determined to spread terrorism in Punjab by radicalizing poor and gullible youth of the state and motivating them to carry out terrorist actions,” he said.

Responding to a question, the DGP said that there had been only two cases of the terrorist attack in Punjab this year, including Maqsudan police station attack and Adliwal grenade attack. “These were both sensitive cases,” said the DGP, assuring the people of Punjab that nobody would be allowed to harm them.

Both the pistols which the perpetrators were carrying on the day of attack have been recovered on the disclosure of Avatar. The weapons recovered include two pistols (.32 bore), one of them is the US made, four magazines and 25 live rounds. DGP added that the recovery followed the arrest of one Shabnamdeep from Patiala.

Initial investigations have revealed that Avatar was contacted on WhatsApp, a few months ago, by one Javed, who claimed to be a Pakistani national (PIO) from Dubai. The so-called Pakistani national, who spoke in Punjabi, first contacted him, on the basis of a reference, in the garb of seeking consultation for his back problem. Thereafter, he started to discuss Sikh issues with him and motivating him to target the enemies of the ‘Sikh’ community.

Police said that Avatar Singh revealed that he and Bikramjit went to the given location near Majitha on November 4, and successfully retrieved a polythene bag containing two .32 bore pistols, four magazines, twenty-five cartridges, and one hand grenade.

After retrieval, Avatar concealed the arms or explosive in his medical store. On November 13, 2018, Avatar and Bikram carried out a recee of Nirankari Satsang Bhawan at Rajasansi and both decided to target the Bhawan on an opportune day.

“On November 16, Avatar and Bikramjit met in Dhariwal village, planned the attack in details, and decided to carry out the attack on November 18. Avatar has corroborated the sequence of events of the 18th attack, as disclosed by Bikramjit,” said the police in a statement.

After the grenade attack, Avatar received a WhatsApp message from a Pakistan number enquiring about his well-being and asking him to call back immediately. Avatar claimed that he had deleted the message as well as the number after the attack.

Police further claimed in the statement that Avatar Singh has also disclosed that he was staunchly opposed to ‘Derawad’ and all the self-styled gurus such as DSS, DJJS, Piara Singh Bhaniarewala and controversial Sikh preachers, including Sarabjit Singh Dhunda and Inderjit Singh Ghagga, and was also against the Hindu right wing and its leaders and workers. (ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.