Indian authorities suspect Pakistani operatives' role in the recent unrest in Punjab, over the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib. Law enforcement agencies insist they have clear evidence of a foreign hand meddling in the state, reeling under turbulence.
Protests flared up across Punjab, the northern Indian state that shares it border with Pakistan, after multiple incidents involving desecration of the holy book of Sikhs, were reported. At least seven such episodes have occurred, which were initially believed to be isolated, however, it now seems like they were well coordinated.
Punjab, had previously witnessed bloody Sikh riots in 1984 and is now undergoing its worst crisis in recent years, under the rule of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. The leader has also convened an emergency cabinet session to address the situation.
At least two key suspects were reportedly arrested and several others being taken into custody. "The police have also unearthed the track used in foreign funding for carrying out the nefarious designs to vitiate the hard-earned atmosphere of peace and communal harmony in Punjab," additional director general of police IPS Sahota told reporters.
The senior police official added that investigators have unearthed a major money trail, which has led them to sources in Dubai, the US and Australia. "The brothers [who have been arrested] were in touch with someone in Australia," said Sahota.
Various Sikh groups have organised demonstrations across Punjab protesting against the incident. The protests further worsened when two demonstrators were allegedly shot dead by police during the rallies.
Meanwhile, Indian news network NDTV has reported that India's vital intelligence agencies warned security establishments in Punjab about an imminent attempt by Pakistan's spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in creating unrest.
Warning that ISI is planning to plant 15-20 trained militants in Punjab, a letter was reportedly circulated to Punjab officials at least a fortnight before the turmoil.