From Our Special Correspondent

Chandigarh — Barely a few hours to go for the Punjab Polls, the State was Rocked by Bomb blasts at 6 different places leaving 3 persons dead and at least 2 others injured besides causing damage to half a dozen vehicles being used in the electioneering. The blasts occurred at Amritsar Batala, Dinanagar, Dhariwal in Gurdaspur District, Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda and in the District of Faridkot. The blasts were set, up by .highly sensitive ignitable time bombs which were planted in the cars. The bombs were reported to be different from the transistor bombs which rocked Delhi in May last.

A soldier of Border Security Force reportedly apprehended one of the alleged culprits Sadhu Singh, who had planted a bomb in Amritsar. Later one more person Harjinder Singh, who allegedly had escaped from the scene on a bicycle. Was arrested during a series of raids in the city. The most daring attempt was made on the car of Brij Bhushan Mehra, Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha and Congress (I) candidate from Amritsar North.

Soon after he parked the car in Dharam Singh Market and went inside for canvassing, a bomb was placed under it. The car was heavily damaged as the bomb went off. Another explosion occurred in the car of Mrs. Sheela Dikshit, a member of Parliament and Congress () observer, outside a hotel near the bus stand at Batala in Gurdaspur. 3 persons standing nearby were killed and the car was damaged badly. Another explosion wrecked the car of an Akali candidate Mr. Sucha Singh of Village Chotepur near Dhariwal in district Gurdaspur. One man was injured in the incident. A car belonging to a supporter of Akali Dal candidate Maharaja Patiala, Capt. Amarinder Singh was also damaged when a bomb exploded in Talwandi Sabo in Bhatinda. In Dina Nagar in Gurdaspur an explosion occurred in a 3 wheeler scooter owned by a congress nominee Mr. Jaimuni. The gang of Sukhdev Singh Tasheera, a proclaimed offender who carries a reward of rupees one lakh on his head is reported to be behind the bomb blasts in Punjab. His name was given by Sadhu Singh who was apprehended by Border Security Force in Amritsar.

A spokesman of the government said in Chandigarh that Sukhdev Singh Tasheera was a staunch follower of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and was reportedly moving around in Punjab on a green scooter without a number plate. He was distributing Tiffen cases carrying gelatine and other pencil like objects containing acids which could be used as explosives. Spokesman said during the last 2 days police had in Amritsar simultaneously raided hideouts of Sukhdev Singh Tashera and his group. The Delhi police also searched the Sikh gurdwaras and houses in certain localities where most of the Sikh population lives. Police also detained about 200 Sikhs in Delhi during these raids for interrogation. A spokesman of Delhi police put a claim that they had arrested a middle-aged woman who was in possession of transistor cases and some explosive materials.

Article extracted from this publication >>  September 27, 1985