Police said today that they have uncovered enough explosives and equipment to make hundreds of bombs at the home of a Sikh lawyer arrested in connection with terrorist blasts that killed at least 85 people.
Forty-four pounds of raw explosives, incriminating documents, literature on bomb-making, tools and bomb parts were recovered Monday from the home of Kartar Singh Narang, a senior investigating officer told the Associated Press today. The officer spoke on condition he not be identified.
The Indian Express newspaper, reporting on the discovery, quoted a police officer as saying: “This kind of ammunition in the hands of terrorists could have made a Beirut out of Delhi.” It did not identify the officer.
Campaign for Separate Nation
Sikh extremists have been waging a bloody campaign for a separate Punjab nation to be known as Khalistan. The majority of Sikhs are seeking greater religious and political autonomy within India, as well as territorial and economic concessions from the central government.
India expressed its “deep appreciation” to the U.S. government today for foiling an alleged plot by Sikh extremists to assassinate Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during his visit to the United States next month. (Story, Page 6.)
Many members of Parliament from Gandhi’s Congress Party as well as opposition parties demanded today that the prime minister cancel his trip. However, Gandhi quickly dispelled doubts about his plans to visit Moscow May 21-26, Paris June 6-10, and the United States June 11-14.
No Changes in Trip Plans
“There are no changes in the prime minister’s current plans for overseas trips,” Gandhi’s press spokesman Sharda Prasad said.
Narang and two others were arrested Sunday after a scuffle with police. Police Chief Ved Marwah has called them key figures in a wide-ranging conspiracy.
The coordinated explosions, which have been blamed on Sikh separatists, claimed 44 lives in the capital over the weekend and other victims in three states. At least 225 people were injured.
Explosives found at Narang’s house were “enough to blow up large parts of Delhi . . . enough to manufacture hundreds of more transistor bombs,” the senior police source told the AP. They were packed in a metal trunk on the roof of Narang’s house, he said.