Target Delhi, claims police; LeT-BKI hand suspected
Attar Singh & Sandeep Yadav, Tribune News Service
Ambala/New Delhi, October 13. A telephone call originating from Nepal and intercepted by Indian intelligence agencies enabled a joint police team from Haryana and Delhi last night to recover five kg of explosives, hidden in a blue Indica car parked outside the Ambala Cantt Railway Station.
The two occupants of the car, captured by CCTV cameras at a toll plaza, however, got away as the police decided against waiting for them to turn up beyond midnight. “We could not afford to wait because we were not sure what was inside the car and whether the explosives, which we suspected to be hidden inside, were timed to explode and when,” explained DCP (Special Cell) of Delhi Police, Arun Kampani.
An examination of the car, however, revealed that the explosives were not connected to detonators. The police identified the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Babbar Khalsa International ( BKI) as the terror outfits responsible for transporting the explosives from Jammu & Kashmir. The consignment was to be handed over to the BKI at Ambala, the police claimed, and taken to New Delhi for a terror strike, possibly before Diwali.
The stolen car displayed a fake registration number, which actually was traced to a car owned by a Panchkula-based business enterprise. Preliminary examination of the car, police sources disclosed, had revealed only an empty box of sweets, toll receipts and some copies of newspapers from J & K. A more comprehensive search, however, led to the recovery of the explosives wrapped in three brown envelopes and secured by adhesive tapes.
Five detonators were hidden in a plastic box while the two ‘ABCD timers’ were cleverly hidden in the cavity of the window rolling machine.
Central Intelligence agencies had passed on specific inputs on the movement of a LeT module in J & K, following which the investigation was taken up. A police team that was rushed to the border state gathered information that the explosives were being carried to Delhi by road. More inquiries led the police to find out details about the vehicle used and the route taken by the LeT operators.
National Security Guard ( NSG) commandos were rushed to Ambala as the police tracked the car and threw a cordon
round the area. Forensic experts joined them from Madhuban. The car, bearing the Haryana registration number HR 03 0054, was taken apart for clues and then was shifted to Delhi for investigation.
The car had passed the Lakhanpur toll barrier along the Jammu-Pathankot highway on Wednesday morning. Police has launched a manhunt for the duo who drove the car to Ambala while explosives have been sent for forensic analysis.
Meanwhile, Haryana police sources said preliminary search of the bonnet and the boot of the vehicle did not reveal anything suspicious. Search of the seats and the dashboard also did not reveal anything incriminating. It was only after the doors and the wheels were taken apart that the explosives were found hidden inside the front door of the car. The operation ended around 1 am. The sources also claimed that the car was originally sold to an Amritsar resident in 2005.
After that it changed several hands. The last owner is yet to be traced.