Ambala/New Delhi: A terror strike, possibly in Delhi ahead of Diwali, plotted by LeT and Babbar Khalsa was foiled with police seizing over 5 kg explosives from a car outside Ambala Cant Railway station.

A team of Delhi Police and their Haryana counterparts found the explosives in a blue Indica car parked outside the railway station, about 200 km from Delhi, last night following probe into inputs provided by intelligence agencies ten days ago that a consignment of explosives is headed to a north Indian metro.

Though the initial inputs were general in nature, sources said, Delhi Police was provided specific inputs, including the make of the vehicle used for carrying the explosives and that the exchange will take place in Ambala, last evening.

The information was passed on to Haryana Police and a joint team of Delhi and Haryana Police tracked down the car to Ambala railway station. Sources said the vehicle had on Tuesday passed from the Lakhanpur toll barrier along Jammu-Pathankot barrier.

Sources said the car-laden with explosives, which one would have needed to assemble to carry out a blast, was abandoned by its occupants who may have become suspicious
when police carried out searches after waiting for someone to turn up.

"We had inputs that an LeT module active in Jammu and Kashmir was planning to strike in Delhi. Investigations were done and found that the explosives were meant for BKI and to
be used in Delhi. We received a specific input yesterday about the movement," Arun Kampani, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), told reporters in Delhi.

The recovery of the explosives came a month after a bomb blast outside High Court in Delhi. "Ambala was the place where the explosives were meant to be exchanged. Bomb disposal squads and forensic experts from Madhubani FSL rushed to the spot. Five kg of black explosives contained in three packets wrapped with brown adhesive tapes were recovered," Kampani said.

Five detonators contained in a plastic box wrapped with brown adhesive tapes, two 'ABCD' timers hidden in the cavity of window rolling machine of the front door of the car, registration papers of the car and two toll receipts of Shambu Barrier and Ladowal were recovered.

A box of sweets was found lying in the car, which showed that it was purchased from  Jammu's Bari Brahmna area besides two newspapers from Jammu and Kashmir.

The car was bearing a fake Haryana registration number and police suspect that it was a stolen one. The number plate on the car and the RC recovered were not the same, a senior
police official said.

Asked whether the owner of the car has been traced, Kampani said they will soon find him but refused to give any details.

Efforts were on to trace the original owner of the car and police and other security personnel were also trying to take accounts from the eyewitnesses who may have seen the car driver.

Police said that the fake number put on the car is registered in the name of a Panchkula-based business enterprise.

An alert had been sounded in Haryana and neighbouring Punjab and security personnel have been asked to remain on alert and maintain strict vigil and track any suspicious movement of people or vehicles.

When asked if the intended target of the terror plot could have been Delhi, Haryana's Director General of Police Ranjiv Dalal said, "Senior officers from various investigating and security agencies are here. We are probing every angle".

As the cantonment area is located in Ambala, police would also be probing if the target could have been a military installation in the region.

The explosives have been sent for forensic test and a team of National Security Guard (NSG) from Delhi arrived at the spot, police said, adding the nature of explosives was
being studied.
 
After recovery of the explosives, security personnel thoroughly checked the car, which was bearing the registration number HR-O3-R-0054.

The tyres of the vehicle and some other parts were removed to check for presence of any more explosives, the sources said.

In view of the approaching Diwali festival, vigil has been stepped up around key installations and crowded public places including the railway stations in the state, police said.

According to preliminary investigations, the captured CCTV footage showed the car had two occupants, police sources said.

Police is now trying to verify the details and hunt down those who drove the car to Ambala cantt, which falls along National Highway number one.

Sources said intelligence agencies had intercepted a call from Nepal ten days ago which indicated about the exchange of explosives.

The information was "sketchy" and revealed that explosives were to be taken to a north Indian metropolis, they said.

Teams of Delhi Police were sent to Jammu and Kashmir to verify the input and last evening, "specific" inputs were received by the agencies which passed it on to Delhi Police.

A senior official said the input was relayed to Special Cell and inter-state coordination wing. Delhi Police shared the input with their Haryana counterparts as Ambala was
mentioned in the input.

A search by Haryana Police of the car did not yield much. However, sources said, Delhi Police Special Cell personnel found traces of explosives which led to the seizure.

Asked whether they could have waited for the handlers to arrive, the official said it was not possible as they feared that there could be an explosion.

"We did not know what was inside. So we could not wait for more," the official said.

Meanwhile, senior Haryana police officials said that after the vehicle was checked last night, nobody had said with full surety that there was no explosive inside.

The parts of the vehicle including fuel tank, silencer, tyres were taken out for a thorough check to see if any more explosives could be hidden inside. The car was later taken to Delhi by the security personnel.

(Agencies)