The bomber was identified as Gagandeep Singh, a former cop

The accused, former cop Gagandeep Singh, carried the explosives inside the court complex is among the findings of the initial probe, Punjab DGP Siddharth Chattopadhyay said.

Two days after a bomb went off inside a district court complex in Punjab's Ludhiana, state police chief Siddharth Chattopadhyay on Saturday laid out the findings from the preliminary probe into the case.

Addressing a press conference, the director general of police (DGP) said initial investigations have confirmed that dismissed former cop Gagandeep Singh, who was suspected to be the attacker, was indeed the one who carried explosives inside the court complex.

“Gagandeep most probably met some people, including Khalistani elements and drug smugglers, while he was jailed. He had very good technical skills and initial inquiry reveals that he went inside the washroom to assemble the bomb,” Chattopadhyay said.

“We have strong leads that Pakistan-based, pro-Khalistani narco-terrorists are behind the blast,” he also said.

Singh, who was killed in Thursday's blast which also resulted in injuries to six others, was dismissed from service in 2019 in connection with a drugs case and spent two years in jail. He was released in September this year. The blast took place near the washroom on the second floor of the court complex.

The police chief also said Singh's possible motive was to create fear as the hearing in his drugs case was scheduled to take place the next day.

The December 23 blast took place at a time when Punjab is gearing up for the assembly elections which are most likely to be held in February-March. It also came in the backdrop of last week's twin lynching in the border state, one each in Amritsar's Golden Temple and Kapurthala, over alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and a Sikh flag, respectively.

Chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi said on Friday there was no evidence of any sacrilege in the Kapurthala incident. One person, the caretaker of the gurdwara where the killing took place, has been arrested on charges of murder.