According to sources, the body of the bomber was identified as Gagandeep Singh, a former cop. 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.
His SIM card and a wireless dongle helped identify him and the family too have confirmed that the body was of Singh, sources said.
The disclosure bolstered Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s statement that 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 ex-minister Bikram Majithia has been named.
“It is a possibility. The blast happened in Ludhiana when the hearing in the Majithia case was taking place in Mohali. There is a possibility of a link that needs to be probed,” the Chief Minister said, adding that the six others injured in the blast are now out of danger.
At the 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.
Channi had faced criticism – including from his predecessor Amarinder Singh – for seemingly ruling out the terrorism link.
The revelation also follows a statement by union minister Hardeep Singh Puri who on Friday said the central government will not allow the situation in Punjab to be destabilised by forces operating either inside or outside India.
Puri, who is also a BJP co-in-charge of the upcoming Punjab assembly polls, said a lot of activities have happened in the state which point to some “sinister force” at work and the objective seems to be to somehow create confusion and chaos.
Noting that Union minister Kiren Rijiju visited Ludhiana and Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting here on the situation in Punjab, Mr Puri told a press conference, “You will get the facts very soon. I will not jump to conclusions… We will get to the bottom of this and all such acts.”
Rijiju on Friday visited the Ludhiana district court rocked by a bomb blast a day earlier and said the centre and the state will work together to ensure strong action against the domestic and foreign elements trying to spoil peace and harmony in the state as well as the country.
With inputs from NDTV