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June 7, 1999
Suicide bomber nabbed in Delhi
A suspected suicide bomber, the first in the capital, on a mission to assassinate former Punjab police chief K P S Gill, has been arrested by the Delhi police.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (special cell) Ashok Chand told reporters in the capital today that the suspected human bomb, Richhpal Singh, was arrested yesterday from near a guest house in Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi following a tipoff.
The interrogation of Richhpal Singh revealed he had been sent to the capital by the Babbar Khalsa International, a Punjab militant outfit, to kill Gill, who lives in Delhi these days. The militant came to the capital from Pakistan on an Afghan passport, Chand said.
Two kg RDX, four detonators and some live wire, which were to be tied on his body during the harakiri mission, were recovered from Richhpal, the DCP said, adding that the militant was influenced to become a human bomb for religious considerations.
Giving details, the senior police official said the militant had disclosed he had in 1977 gone to Iran via Nepal for a better living and had worked in a paint factory for 20 years. In January 1997, he had planned to go to Canada, where his sister stays but was nabbed in Turkey, while trying to cross the border illegally. He was handed over to the Iranian police who arrested him and put him in jail for about a year.
After his release in February last year, he entered Pakistan via Afghanistan and reached Lahore, where he was intercepted by the ISI who took him to Babbar Khalsa International chief Wadhwa Singh.
He was indoctrinated and motivated by Wadhwa to become a human bomb for the ''cause of the Sikh Panth''.
The task of indoctrination became easier because of Richhpal's addiction to drugs. Through drugs he was kept in a semi-conscious state and was told since he was a bachelor his death would not affect anybody. Instead, he would be remembered in the history of the Sikh Panth as a martyr.
In July, he was taken for training in arms and explosives to Muzaffarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir where he was specifically trained in wrapping explosives around the body and detonating them.
He was told his target was Gill. After training, he returned to Lahore where his indoctrination continued. He arrived in India on May 25 on an Afghani passport.
He was given a code name, Mohinder Singh, and told his contact in Delhi would be one Avtar Singh. After coming to Delhi he stayed in a guest house in Lajpat Nagar and left for Punjab. He returned to the capital on June 5 and yesterday met his contact near Bangla Sahib gurdwara who handed over to him the consignment.
Chand said the police, which was keeping a close vigil on his movements, arrested him when he was returning to the guest house.
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