Banned outfit SFJ claims responsibility for Mohali attack, 20 suspects held

MOHALI/CHANDIGARH: The launcher used to fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the building housing the headquarters of Punjab police’s intelligence wing in Mohali’s Sector 77 was traced on Tuesday, coinciding with Gurpatwant Singh Pannu of the banned outfit Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) purportedly claiming responsibility for the attack through an unverified voice message.
Punjab police rounded up 18-20 suspects as the investigation into what might have been “a terrorist attack” gathered pace during the course of the day.
A day after the RPG attack on the headquarters of the state intelligence wing, Punjab police on Tuesday sounding a state of high alert in Mohali. The authenticity of the voice message attributed to Gurpatwant Singh Pannu of the banned outfit Sikhs For Justice claiming responsibility for the attack is being verified, the police said. “We are very close to cracking the case,” Mohali SSP Vivek Sheel Soni said.
Investigators are scrutinising “6,000-7,000 mobile data dumps” from three mobile towers in the vicinity of the intelligence headquarters for more clues. Based on CCTV footage, the police suspect a Maruti Suzuki Swift might have been used by the perpetrators of the RPG attack.
Officers of the NIA, NSG and Army inspected the intelligence unit’s building as part of efforts to supplement the investigation. On Tuesday, DGP VK Bhawra held a meeting with state intelligence officials, SSP Soni and other officers at the intelligence headquarters. “We have leads and will solve this case soon. Investigation is going on and details will be shared at the appropriate time,” he told reporters.
On whether the police were officially treating this as a terror attack, the DGP said, “A projectile hit the building and the explosive used in it seems to be TNT (trinitrotoluene). Since this happened in the evening, nobody was there in the room and a wall took the impact.”
Mohali SP (Headquarters) Ravinder Pal Singh said it had become clear there was “a conspiracy by the terrorists involved in this attack to strike at the heart of the intelligence system of Punjab police”.
Mohali police have registered an FIR under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC, Section 16 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Section 3 of the Explosive Substances Act against unknown people. The FIR was registered on the basis of a statement by SI Balkar Singh, in-charge of security at the intelligence headquarters.