Law

NIA Files Charge Sheet Against Nine 'Pro-Khalistan' Youths in Tarn Taran Blast Case

On September 4 last year, a powerful explosion took place in a vacant plot on the outskirts of Pandori Gola village in Tarn Taran in which two persons were killed.

New Delhi:  The NIA on Wednesday filed a charge sheet against nine “pro-Khalistan” youths for their alleged involvement in last year’s Tarn Taran blast in Punjab in which two persons were killed, the agency said.

Massa Singh, Harjit Singh, Gurjant Singh, Manpreet Singh, Bikramjit Singh Panjwar, all residents of Tarn Taran; Chandeep Singh of Gurdaspur; Malkit Singh and Amarjeet Singh of Amritsar and one juvenile have been charged under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Substances Act, an NIA spokesperson said.

The charge sheet was filed in a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mohali.

The charges against Vikram Singh and Harpreet Singh, both residents of Tarn Taran, have abated on account of their death in the incident, the official said.

On September 4 last year, a powerful explosion took place in a vacant plot on the outskirts of Pandori Gola village in Tarn Taran in which two persons were killed and another was grievously injured. They were digging a pit to retrieve concealed explosives, the spokesperson said.

The case was re-registered by the NIA on September 23.

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The accused were “radicalised pro-Khalistan” youths who had formed a terrorist gang under the leadership of absconding accused Panjwar, the NIA spokesperson said.

The members of the terrorist gang carried out secessionist activities on the ground as well as on social media to instigate the members of the Sikh community to agitate for the secession of Punjab from India, the official said.

The terrorist gang chose targets for attack with a view to promote enmity between people of different communities, to create unrest and disturb social and religious harmony and thereby endangering the maintenance of public peace and order in Punjab, the NIA spokesperson said.

They illegally procured explosive substances, prepared and tested crude bombs to carry out terrorist acts in Punjab, the official said.

The accused had planned to target a dera at Muradpura in Tarn Taran and held a series of secret meetings before choosing the date of the attack. Harjit, Gurjant, Vikram, and Harpreet were retrieving the buried explosives when the explosion took place, the official said.

Further investigation against co-conspirators and suspects who are absconding was underway.