Ludhiana Court Bomber Faced Drugs Case, Wanted To Scare Judges, Lawyers

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A former policeman who was suspected to be the bomber in a court complex explosion in Punjab’s Ludhiana wanted to scare judges and lawyers as he was facing a drugs case, the police said today.
The suspect, Gagandeep Singh, was killed in the blast. A head constable, he was dismissed from service in 2019 and spent two years in jail following his arrest in a drug-trafficking case. He was released in September.

Gagandeep Singh was scheduled to appear in court in the drugs case filed against him, Punjab DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyaya told reporters today. He made a plan to scare the judiciary, the police said.

The former head constable was assembling the bomb in a court bathroom when it went off, Mr Chattopadhyaya, adding it is not yet known from where he got the material to make the improvised explosive device, or IED.

The blast caused a water pipe to burst, which washed away some residual explosives that could have come in handy as vital clues, The Indian Express reported.

Two friends of Gagandeep Singh and his brother have been detained for questioning by the police. A laptop has been seized from his house.

Mr Chattopadhyaya said they have managed to crack the case within 24 hours. “It was a very powerful blast. We got many leads from the site. Initial assessment suggested that the dismissed policeman carried out the blast… He had developed links with Khalistani and mafia outfits,” Mr Chattopadhyaya told reporters. “We can’t conclusively say Pakistan has a role, but we have suspicion. Investigation is yet to come to a conclusion on this angle,” the police officer said.

Gagandeep Singh’s SIM card and a wireless dongle helped identify him and the family too have confirmed that the body was of him.

Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi said there appeared to be no evidence of the involvement of Pakistani agencies or Khalistani groups in the blast, and instead have ties to the drugs case in which former minister Bikram Majithia has been named.

At a court hearing in Mohali, Akali Dal leader Bikram Majithia was seeking advance bail after having been named in a case for allegedly allowing drug smuggling through the use of his property or conveyance, financing the distribution or sale of drugs and criminal conspiracy for smuggling narcotics.

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