The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday said three men who were arrested for allegedly snatching two rifles from police personnel earlier this month belonged to a pro-Khalistan outfit, PTI reported. They were allegedly planning to target former Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal.

Karam Singh, Gurujant alias Jenta and Amrit were arrested on Sunday night following a brief gunfight in Shamli district, reported The Times of India. On October 2, the men had allegedgly attacked a constable and shot at a home guard in Shamli’s Jhinjhana town and snatched their rifles.

“This module of pro-Khalistan ultras busted by UP Police had several VVIPs, including Punjab’s Badal family, on its target,” said Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh. “They were planning to bomb Badal’s rallies in Patiala, Bathinda, Faridkot and elsewhere. Their foreign funding and ISI [Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence] allegiance are being probed.”

Meerut Additional Director General of Police Prashant Kumar said the accused had planned to “create disturbance” at a rally organised by Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal in Patiala on October 7, according to ANI.

“The main accused who is absconding has a lot of Khalistan related information on his Facebook page,” Kumar said. He claimed that the arrested men have confessed during their interrogation that they planned to target Badal.

Kumar said the police in Punjab and the Uttar Pradesh were alerted to the three men after their association with the Khalistan Liberation Front surfaced. The Anti-Terrorism Squad will now continue the investigation into the matter, he added.

Shamli Superintendent of Police Dinesh Kumar P said the arrested men had hidden the stolen rifles in a local gurudwara and planned to shift them to Punjab.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh told reporters in Mohali that he would ensure that full security is provided to the Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal, PTI reported.