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Ambala explosives: Was Sajjan Kumar the target?

Last updated on: October 31, 2011 15:14 IST

Ambala explosives: Was Sajjan Kumar the target?

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Vicky Nanjappa

News has just trickled in that it was the Khalistan Tiger Force which was behind the Ambala haul of explosives meant for a deadly 'Diwali' blast at Delhi.

The confession comes from the outfit itself which has made it clear that the intention of the blast was to eliminate former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar, who is also the prime accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

The Khalistan Tiger Force is a breakaway faction of the Babbar Khalsa International and it was as late as March, 2011, that this outfit was floated. The latest confession is, however, a clear indication that the outfit is trying to rake up the sentiments of the Sikh community since the target is none other than Sajjan Kumar, a man hated in most parts of Punjab.

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Image: The car from which the explosive was recovered in Ambala en-route to Delhi earlier this month

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Is there a real rift within Babbar Khalsa International?

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When the police managed to seize the haul earlier in the month, their investigations clearly indicated that this was the handiwork of a Sikh militant group. However, the eye of the suspicion was very much on the Babbar Khalsa International.

Today the story is different and a breakaway faction called the KTF has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Sources in the Intelligence Bureau point out that a couple of months back there was a communication speaking about the KTF breaking away from the BKI.

The man who had intended doing so was the prime accused in the Beant Singh killing, Jagtar Singh Tara. The outfit was officially launched on March 13 which is a day before the Sikh new year.

The outfit says that it has its office at Sri Akal Takht Sahib and the decision to breakaway was because they 'wanted to do more for their community.'

The bigger question is whether there is a real rift within the BKI? The answer is a no, according to IB sources.

It is a deliberate ploy due to the bad publicity that the BKI has got, thanks to its 'association' with Pakistani spy agency Inter Services Intelligence.

No matter how honest a cause is, an association with the ISI is something that no Indian would accept, and the BKI did realise that it had taken a back seat during its re-launch in India.



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ISI-BKI link behind Khalistan Tiger Force's birth

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During the recruitment process in Punjab, it found no takers thanks to the Pakistani association. The association was being seen more as 'anti-Indian' than 'pro-Sikh'.

This prompted them to wake up to the issue and ensure that the outfit should deal exclusively with the main issue and that is Sikh rights. However, that was not going to be possible with the existing name, and hence the idea to float a new outfit was mooted.

Today's communication also makes another point, and that is the outfit has nothing to do with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. This again is an attempt being made to keep the group exclusively to the Indian domain which they feel may dish out the necessary support that they have been looking for.

Sources in the IB say that this could well announce the launch of this outfit. Groups such as the Students Islamic Movement of India or the Indian Mujahideen too made their foray into the world of terror by making similar announcements. Touching upon emotive issues has always worked well for these groups and this has managed to rope in the youth who feel strongly for the cause.

These groups have been trying to make a come back since the past two years. They have not found much success in the same.

The recruitments have not been up to the mark and worse when it came to logistics they did not find enough local support which made their launch a virtually impossible task.

By saying that they have no Pakistan link and also touching upon the very sensitive Sikh riots issue, it would be interesting to note how they would take their next part of the plan ahead.

It is quite a sensitive situation and the local government in particular has to be on high alert in order to ensure that the group does not plant its roots yet again.

However, investigators say that they would continue to look at the case as a whole and this new declaration will surely be taken into consideration, but the BKI angle will also be probed since we know that both are one and the same at the end of it.


Image: KTF said the attack was planned on former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar, the prime accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

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