A rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) was fired at a police station in Punjab’s border district of Tarn Taran, the second such attack in the state in the last seven months, with Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav on Saturday describing it as a ‘strategy of the neighbouring nation to bleed India by a thousand cuts’.
IMAGE: Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav speaks to the media on a low-intensity blast at Sarhali police station, in Tarn Taran on Saturday. Photograph: ANI Photo
The projectile, fired by some unidentified people, hit the Saanjh Kendra adjoining the Sarhali police station on the Amritsar-Bathinda highway on Friday night.
There was no casualty but window panes and a wall of the building were damaged, officials said.
Following the attack, Opposition parties demanded the chief minister’s resignation and said it was the ‘direct result’ of the Aam Aadmi Party government’s ‘apathy’ in maintaining law and order.
According to preliminary information, it was a military-grade hardware, the DGP said, adding it was suspected to have been smuggled from across the border.
“There is a clear indication that it is a strategy of the neighbouring nation to bleed India by a thousand cuts,” the DGP said pointing to Pakistan which has been sponsoring terrorism in India.
In coordination with the Border Security Force and central agencies, the Punjab Police will investigate and will give a befitting reply, he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Tarn Taran) Gurmeet Singh Chauhan said some suspects are being questioned in connection with the incident and investigation was underway.
Saanjh Kendra centre provides services like copy of first information reports (FIRs), passport verification and no-objection certificates.
Earlier in May, a RPG was fired at the Punjab Police’s intelligence headquarters located in Mohali.
Director General of Police Gaurav Yadav, who visited the site, said that according to preliminary investigation, the grenade was fired by using an RPG from the highway at 11.22 pm and it hit the Suvidha Centre of the Sarhali police station.
“We have registered an FIR under UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) in this regard,” the DGP told the media in Tarn Taran.
Yadav said police have recovered the rocket launcher and propeller.
We are investigating technically and forensically. We are collecting clues from the scene of the crime to reconstruct what happened, the DGP said.
A forensic team and a squad of the army have reached the site.
The DGP said that the cowardly attack was carried out at night as the enemy nation was feeling rattled after the seizure of huge quantities of heroin and cache of arms and ammunition in the last one month which were sent through drones.
“This year alone, there were more than 200 drone crossings and in the last one month, several drones were intercepted, heroin, weapons and ammunition seized,” he said.
“It appears that our enemy nation was feeling rattled and to distract this, the cowardly attack was carried out at night,” the DGP said.
“The police are exploring all angles and theories. The handlers and operators in Pakistan and elements which were in touch in Europe and North America and their links are also being probed to arrest the real perpetrators,” he said.
The DGP further said the movement of drones has increased, especially in Tarn Taran and Amritsar, and last month many drones were shot down.
To a question, the DGP said there appears to be many similarities between this attack and the Mohali RPG attack incident, though forensic details were being examined.
The projectile first struck the iron grills of the gate of the police station and then hit the wall of the Saanjh Kendra, which was slightly damaged.
The windowpanes of the Saanjh Kendra were damaged in the incident.
There were some police personnel present at the police station when the incident took place.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) demanded Mann’s resignation, alleging the AAP government led by him has failed to maintain law and order in the state.
SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said, “Today’s attack has shocked Punjabis. This is the first time in the history of the state when RPG attacks are taking place in just eight months of tenure of the AAP government led by Mann.”
Bharatiya Janata Party national general secretary Tarun Chugh said Mann should seek an apology from the people of the state for ‘failing’ in discharging his responsibilities.
Earlier, DGP Yadav said that whosoever involved in this incident would face the law.
“We will take it to a logical conclusion,” he said.
To a question on gangster Goldy Brar, the mastermind behind the killing of singer Sidhu Moosewala, the DGP said that the chief minister had already made a statement on this issue.
“We are in touch with the USA and other agencies. The CM has already made a statement,” he said.
Further asked whether Brar has been detained or not, Yadav told reporters, “Have patience and everything will be clear.”
Meanwhile, Yadav also appealed to people to report to the police if they receive extortion calls.