The “highly radicalised” operative has been identified as Ranjit Singh, a resident of Sohal village in Tarn Taran district, said the police on Wednesday.
He was in touch with various radical and terrorist elements based in the UK and other countries through social media, the police said.
Acting on intelligence inputs about Ranjit Singh’s presence in Amritsar, special teams from the local State Special Operation Cell (SSOC) were sent to the specified area and he was arrested, director general of police (DGP) Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota said.
2 Chinese made P-86 hand grenades were recovered, said DGP office, Punjab
“During investigation, Ranjit revealed that he had formed a group named ‘Kaum De Rakhe’ to collect funds on the pretext of social work. Through this group, he got in touch with various radical and terrorist elements based in the UK and other countries through social media and extended his help in setting up sleeper cells in the garb of his social work,” he added.
The DGP said, “Ranjit further disclosed that recently, he had received a consignment of arms and explosives and was planning to carry out a terror strike to create an atmosphere of fear and lawlessness in the border state (Punjab).”
“The police have also recovered two Chinese-made P-86 hand grenades and two pistols along with live cartridges besides a black-coloured motorcycle from his (Ranjit Singh’s) possession,” he said.
An FIR has been registered at SSOC Amritsar police station and further investigations are on, the police said.
Sahota said Singh was allegedly also part of a group that had vandalised statues of folk dancers installed at the heritage street leading to the Golden Temple in Amritsar on January 15, 2020. He was arrested by the police and was out on bail.
The development comes at a time when Punjab is witnessing a huge inflow of hand grenades and tiffin bombs along with other weapons, according to a police statement.
Recently, there have been grenade blasts in the state, including at Crime Investigation Agency‘s office in Nawanshahr and Cantonment area in Pathankot. An unexploded hand grenade was recovered from Zira in Ferozepur, the statement said.
(With inputs from PTI)