Amritsar grenade attack was planned in Lahore and pro-Khalistani groups of Canada and Germany were also involved, top security officials familiar with the probe said. According to a report published in The Hindustan Times, citing the officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the attack was a “desperate attempt” to revive militancy in Punjab. The report further stated that a local module was used for the attack and an Islamist network helped in the transfer of Pakistan-made grenades.
[Live] Addressing Press Conference at Punjab Bhawan, Chandigarh. https://t.co/vWTp2LF9DB— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) November 21, 2018
At least three people were killed, and 20 others sustained serious injuries after two suspected terrorists hurled hand grenades at a Nirankari Bhawan congregation in Amritsar's Rajasansi village. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had also described the attack a suspected handiwork of the ISI-backed terror modules.
“Prima facie, this appears to be an act of terror by separatist forces, organised with the involvement of ISI-backed Khalistani or Kashmiri terrorist groups,” Singh had said on Monday.
Besides this, the grenade attack in Amritsar had striking similarities with the ISI-backed terror module in Patiala, which was busted by the Punjab Police earlier this month.
On November 1, the anti-terrorism unit of the Punjab Police had nabbed one Shabnamdeep Singh alias Maninder Lahoria, who allegedly confessed to being on a payroll of Pakistani handlers. The police had also recovered a motorcycle, a pistol and a hand grenade from Lahoria’s possession. Surprisingly, the perpetrators of the Amritsar grenade attack also on a motorcycle, waved a gun and lobbed grenades at Nirankari Bhawan congregation.
Officials probing the Amritsar grenade attack said that the police had also recovered letters pads of "Khalistan Gadar Force" and other Pakistan-based terror outfits from Lahoria’s possession.
Lahoria had allegedly told the investigators that he was getting instructions from his handlers in Pakistan to target police posts and worded areas during the festivals. He was promised Rs 10 lakh for each act of violence, the police officers claimed.
The involvement of Pakistan-based Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) leader Harmeet Singh alias ‘PhD’ in the Amritsar grenade attack is also suspected. Harmeet Singh has been accused of trying to revive militancy in Punjab by radicalising the state’s youths through social media.