Arms’ recovery in Punjab probe handed over to NIA

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 10/6/2019 8:01:58 PM

NEW DELHI, Oct 5: The Centre has handed over the probe into recovery of huge arms, ammunition and communication hardware in Punjab, suspected to have been delivered through drones from across the border, to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The decision to hand over the probe to the federal anti-terror probe agency was taken following Punjab government's request in the wake of the state police's claim to have busted a terror module of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), backed by a radical terror group based in Pakistan and Germany, last month. Punjab Police had said the terror group was conspiring to unleash a series of strikes in Punjab and adjoining States.
The Centre is convinced that scheduled offences under the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 have been committed and having regard to the gravity of the offence which include conspiracy to carry out terrorist activity to create communal tension, instability and revival of terrorism in Punjab, these are required to be investigated by the NIA in accordance with the Act, according to a Home Ministry order. The central Government hereby directs the NIA to take up the investigation of the aforesaid offences, it said.
The initial investigation has found the use of drones to deliver weapons and communication hardware from Pakistan, a home ministry official said. Four persons were arrested from the outskirts of Chohla Sahib village in Tarn Taran district on Punjab on September 22.
A huge cache of arms, including five AK-47 rifles, pistols, satellite phones and hand grenades were seized from them. The weapons were suspected to have been delivered from across the border by the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI for jihadi and pro-Khalistani terrorist outfits working under its command, Punjab Police said.
Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said the module was busted following inputs gathered from sources that activists of the banned KZF had planned to carry out multiple terrorist strikes in J&K, Punjab and other adjoining States. The Pakistan Army-ISI combine has been working overtime for the last one decade to revive militancy in Punjab through terror outfits propped up by them and based in other countries.



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