March 2000 News

Sirhind bus blast, Sealdah Express blast worked out

25 March 2000
Daily Excelsior

Jammu: With the arrest of three associates of hardcore militant, Ranjit Singh alias Neeta alias Manpreet Singh, supremo of the banned Khalistan Zindabad Force, police today claimed to have solved the Sarhind Video Coach blast case in which 9 passengers were killed. Neeta and Manjit Singh with the help of their three associates had executed the blast. Investigations further revealed that November 10, 1999 blast in Pooja Express and blast in Sealdah Express on February 10 was handiwork of this group of dreaded militants which in league with J&K Islamic Front headed by Bilal Beig of Pakistan, who is getting support from Dawood Ibrahmi. Addressing a press conference Inspector General of Police, Jammu Range, R V Raju and IGP Operations PS Gill said that three associates of Neeta namely Ravinder Singh son of Hazara Singh, Tajinder Singh son of Gurcharan Singh and Kamaldeep Singh son of Giani Man Singh, all residents of Chatha Farm, were in touch with Neeta who had crossed over from Pakistan and lived here for 20 to 22 days. Neeta motivated them to resume militancy in this area. Under instructions of Neeta, on March 2, Manjit Singh had prepared two identical travelling suitcases, one carrying clothes and the other carrying an Improvised Explosive Device. Raju said that Neeta used the services of Ravinder Singh, Tajinder Singh and Kamaldeep Singh for this operation. They got the truck of Kamaldeep Singh, bearing registra-tion number 1945-JK02-L, to take the party to the General Bus Stand in Jammu from Chatha. During interrogation, the arrested associates of Neeta disclosed that they alongwith Manjit Singh travelled in the truck carrying the two suit cases. Manjit Singh purchased two tickets for Delhi in the ill-fated Video Coach Number 2125-DLIP and sat in the bus with the suitcase containing his clothes. The suitcase carrying IED was left with Ravinder Singh in the truck. After Manjit Singh spent sometime in the bus, Kamaldeep and Tajinder went to Ravinder and gave all clear signal on which Ravinder took the suit case containing the IED to the bus in which Manjit Singh was sitting. Manjit exchanged the suitcase carrying his clothes with the suitcase carrying the IED which he left in the bus and quietly came out. Two suitcases were used so that no suspicion was created against him. He was seen going inside the bus with a suitcase and was also seen coming out of the bus with a similar suitcase. All of them left the Bus Stand in Kamaldeep’s truck. Raju said Neeta had been specifically tasked by the ISI to cause murder, mayhem and wide spread destruction of public property and vital installations in Jammu, Punjab and Delhi as run-up to the visit of the US President to India, and to re-vitalize militancy in Jammu region. After his arrival in November Neeta contacted several old associates and established four distinct modules for carrying out subversive-anti-national activities in the State and outside the State. IGP disclosed that Neeta had brought with him a large consignment of weapons and explosives including RDX. Dreaded militant and supremo of the Khalistan Zindabad Force spent about some days in Digiana Ashram and Rohi Morh Ashram, near R S Pura using his associates and contacts like Amritpal Singh alias Romi and Karamjit Singh. Investigations revealed that from Jammu, Neeta proceeded to Nepal via Delhi and used the services of two local boys, Parshotam Singh alias Kala and Sukhdev Singh alias Mithoo. He also executed a blast at Old Delhi Railway Station. Neeta returned to Jammu in January and made trips to the border using the trucks of Sukhdev Singh alias Mithoo. He had earlier given Sukhdev Singh one and half lakh rupees for purchasing the truck. Neeta also made trips to Jallandher and Ludhiana and then returned to Nepal. He again returned to Jammu in the first week of February and the blast took place in the Sealdah Express on February 10 which was planned and executed by him and his associates. He went to Punjab and again returned to Jammu in the first week of March. Police has also recovered a large quanity of explosive from the possession of Ravinder Singh in whose custody Neeta had left his material. Police admitted that Neeta and Manjit Singh managed to cross over to Pakistan on March 9.

 

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