The Pakistan-backed terror module exposed two days ago has thrown up a fresh challenge for the security establishment: a tiffin bomb that gets activated on the slightest pressure.
The special cell of Delhi Police and Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad claimed to have busted the terror network. Delhi Police said these tiffin bombs had been recovered from the six men arrested in the case. A top officer of Delhi Police told CNN-News18 that the make of the bomb was such that it could explode on the slightest pressure.
“It does not require a detonator. The circuit is complete; even if someone slightly stepped on it or gave it a nudge, it could explode,” the officer said. He added that this is a new kind of improvised explosive device (IED) that the bomb disposal squad might also have to handle carefully.
“If the BDS (bomb disposal squad) also tugs at it, even with slight force, this IED can explode,” the officer said. The tiffin bombs, according to initial estimates, were packed with 200 to 500 gm of RDX, and nails were used as splinter.
“The idea was to plant these tiffin bombs in crowded markets and areas where people gather for festivals. As Covid numbers are going down, the assessment of ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) was that crowds would soon return for festival season,” said an officer of Delhi Police.
The special cell suspects that the tiffin bomb recovered by Punjab Police after an IED blast in Amritsar district in August could also be linked to the one busted on September 15. Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ordered a high alert in the state, a day after four members of an alleged ISI-terror module were arrested on September 14.
Preliminary investigations by Punjab Police suggest that accused Gurmukh had placed the tiffin IED at Hambowal on Jalandhar-Amritsar highway, from where, on August 6, co-accused Vicky, Malkeet and Gurpreet Singh picked it up on the directions of other alleged suspects, Lakhbir Singh Rode and Pakistani intelligence officer ‘Qasim’.
Punjab Police said a pen drive was attached to the tiffin box, which contained instructions to operate the tiffin IED. Now Delhi Police also suspects that their recovery of tiffin bombs could be similar to the one found by Punjab Police.
Probe team members in Delhi told CNN-News18 that while the terror group responsible for activating these sleeper cells had not yet been identified, the “ISI imprint was unmistakable”.
More members of the module could be arrested in the next few days as interrogation was on, police said. “Delhi Police commissioner is keen on interrogating the suspects,” an officer said, adding that the accused from Uttar Pradesh will be taken to their places of origin in Lucknow and Allahabad.
The officer said the probe was on to piece together the entire chain of conspiracy — from the point of radicalisation of the suspects to arranging travel and training to conspiracy to carry out terror attacks.