Punjab Police Chief S. S. Virk said the crime rate in respect of murder, rape, and kidnapping has increased in the State due to rising unemployment and the spread of urbanization. The crime rate has increased by about 20 percent, he said while giving figures which showed murder cases increasing to 852 in 2006 against 743 in 2005. Virk also stated undercurrents of terrorism still prevailed in Punjab, while few terrorists or militants were arrested who were active during the phase of terrorism in the State in the 1980s and early 1990s.
An estimated 71.97 percent of 1.66 crore voters exercised their franchise for the Legislative Assembly elections which passed off peacefully barring minor incidents.
The Congress party was voted out of power in the Legislative Assembly elections as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine returned to power with a clear majority. The SAD-BJP alliance won 71 of the 117 seats in the Assembly with Akali Dal itself winning 48 seats. The BJP won 19 of the 23 seats it contested. Congress, which had won 62 seats in 2002, secured 44 seats.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal was sworn in as Punjab Chief Minister for the fourth time.
Balbir Singh alias Beera, a Pakistan-trained terrorist, was arrested from his native Chak Thaliwal village in Ferozepore district. He was wanted in a case under the Explosives Act registered against him and others on December 2006. Cases of terrorism, murder, and kidnapping for ransom are also pending against him. He was part of the gang of Paramjit Singh Dhadi, a terrorist who was arrested on December 2006.
Intelligence agencies said that the Pakistan-based LeT and the ISI, Pakistan’s external intelligence agency, are trying to revive militancy in the Indian State of Punjab through sympathizers of the Sikh militant groups like the BKI, the ISYF, KZF, and KCF. The information has been sent to the Punjab Police about the plans to target towns of Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Pathankot region. Instructions have also been given to monitor the activities of sympathizers of BKI-Hawara, ISYF-Rode, KZF- Neeta, and KCF, who are sending funds through hawala to "re-launch their separatist movement".
Khalistani militants had in 1986 threatened to kill then Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and blow up the Toronto subway system, according to just declassified documents before the Air India inquiry commission. An anonymous letter received by police in early July 1986 laid out the terrorist attacks that would unfold if Talwinder Singh Parmar, who mastermind the Kanishka bombing which left 329 people dead, and others in jail at the time were not released.
The Fatehgarh Sahib police registered a 'sedition case' against Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) senior vice president Daljit Singh Bittu and others on the statement of Fatehgarh Sahib Station House Officer Darshan Singh. It was alleged in the FIR that Bittu and his colleagues came in front of a bus and stopped it and raised slogans of 'Khalistan Zindabad', 'Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderwale Zindabad', 'Sant Bhinderawale Teri Souch Te Pehra Devange Thok Ke' and used the words traitors against the members of 11 members of committee sitting in bus, which was going to submit a memorandum to the Governor against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief.
Representatives of various radical Sikh organizations, including the Dal Khalsa, assembled at the Akal Takht to pay homage to the militants killed during Operation Blue Star in June 1984. The Jathedar of the Akal Takht, Joginder Singh Vedanti, honored the kin of the militants, including Baba Isher Singh, the son of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Vedanti described Operation Blue Star as the 'Genocide of the Sikhs'. The hardliners also displayed banners of Khalistan in front of Akal Takht.
Punjab Police is reported to have traced the main conspirators of the May 22, 2005-bomb blasts in New Delhi, alleged to be members of the pro-Khalistan outfit, BKI, in Germany. The police said it had moved an application before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Seema Maini in New Delhi for issuance of letters rogatory seeking information about the suspects from the German authorities, which was granted by the court. The letters rogatory seek information about Satnaam Singh, son-in-law of Babbar Khalsa chief Wadhwa Singh, his wife Sukhwinder Kaur and another woman identified as Kanwaljit Kaur.
The court of District and Sessions Judge in Fatehgarh Sahib stayed the arrest of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) senior vice president Daljit Singh Bittu till June 12. Bittu had been booked by Punjab government in case of sedition for raising slogans of Khalistan during protests against the Dera Sacha Sauda.
Gurdip Singh Rana, a Babbar Khalsa militant was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment after being convicted under the Arms Act at Kurukshetra in the Haryana State. Wanted by the Punjab Police, Rana, who was hiding in the Sujra village of Kurukshetra district, was arrested on October 17, 2005.
Punjab police claimed to have foiled an attempt of some terrorist groups to reorganize their base and create terror in Punjab by killing some high profile religious and political leaders. General secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal’s youth wing in Rupnagar district, Swaranjeet Singh alias Bobby of Bahadarpur, and a Bhindranwale Tigers Force militant Gurcharan Singh alias Kala of Bawani village were arrested. Bobby and Kala had planned to assassinate religious leader Baba Piara Singh Bhaniarawale and to achieve this plan, they had formed the Khalsa Action Committee, in which they were recruiting like-minded persons. A .455 bore US-made 1950-model sophisticated pistol, a.30 bore revolver, its 5 live cartridges, and 2 live grenades were recovered from the duo.
Six persons out of a group of nine accused in the assassination case of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh were found guilty by the Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ) Ravi Kumar Sondhi. Jagtar Singh Hawara, Shamsher Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Balwant Singh, and Gurmeet Singh were held guilty on charges of murder, attempt to murder, abetment to suicide, criminal conspiracy and under sections 4, 5 and 6 of the Explosives Act. Nasib Singh was held guilty only under Section 5 of the Explosives Act. Nasib Singh who was also accused of murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and abetment to suicide, was acquitted owing to lack of evidence.
The Additional District and Sessions Judge in Chandigarh awarded death sentence to Jagtar Singh Hawara of the BKI and Balwant Singh, two of the six declared guilty in the Beant Singh assassination case. Three other convicts, Gurmeet, Lakhwinder and Shamsher Singh, were awarded life imprisonment for their involvement in the criminal conspiracy, while the sixth convict, Naseeb Singh, was given 10 years of imprisonment under the Explosives Act along with a fine of INR 10,000.
Seven persons, including a 10-year-old child, were killed and 40 others injured in an explosion inside a cinema hall in Ludhiana. Eyewitnesses said that there were two blasts in succession. The victims were identified as migrants from other states who were watching a Bhojpuri language film at the Shringaar Cinema. DIG of Police (Ludhiana Range), Ishwar Singh, said the bomb was placed in the first three rows of seats. Punjab Police chief N.P.S. Aulakh informed that from the preliminary investigations, it appeared to be the handiwork of some terrorist group.
The Punjab Police claimed to have got some "vital clues" to the October 14 Ludhiana cinema bomb blast. The Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order), Chandrashekhar, said, "We have got vital clues." He, however, said that revealing the details would hamper investigations. Chandrashekhar further said, "The situation is still unclear about the kind of explosives and chemicals used to trigger the blast."
Punjab Police announced a reward of INR 100,000 for anyone providing information on the bomb blast at the Shringar Cinema in Ludhiana on October 14. DIG of Police (Ludhiana Range) Ishwar Singh said, "The name of the person/persons giving the clue would be kept a closely guarded secret."
Punjab Police foiled an attempt by BKI terrorists to assassinate the Sirsa-based Sacha Sauda (a sect) chief, Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh, and heads of two other sects. The Senior Superintendent of Police (Kapurthala), Rakesh Aggarwal, informed that three members of the BKI module, identified as Gurinder Singh, Zorawar Singh alias Zora and Parminder Singh alias Babloo, were arrested and two Improvised Explosive Devices assembled by using 9.75 kg high-quality RDX recovered. The police also seized 300 grams of RDX, two detonators, two timers, 40 cartridges of different bores, four boxes of other explosive material, two kg of copper wire and two mobile phones along with several other articles. Aggarwal disclosed that 12 other BKI gang members, including its kingpin Gurpreet Singh, were still at large.
The BKI threatened to blow up vital installations and security establishments in the State. The BKI ‘regional commander (North East)’ Balwinder Singh in an e-mail statement sent to a local English daily stated, "By the end of this month (December), we are going to explode (blast) bombs in Shillong city to take revenge on Khasi Students’ Union for committing atrocities on Punjabis residing in Sweepers Colony (Punjabi Colony) in Lewduh in previous years and for India's oppression on us."
Three suspected Babar Khalsa militants were arrested from Bihar on the India-Nepal border for their alleged role in the October 2007 bomb blast in Ludhiana that claimed six lives. Two of the three were identified as Gurpreet Singh and Sandeep and were arrested while they were attempting to flee into Nepal, official sources said.