Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Grenade attack on religious congregation in Amritsar, three killed

Nirankari Bhawan Three killed in blast in India's Amritsar
Pablo Mccormick | 19 November, 2018, 04:56

Amritsar blast: At least 3 people were killed and several others suffered injuries while unknown bike-borne assailants threw a bomb at a congregation of devotees at Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar's Rajasansi village on Sunday, reports said.

"We have, however, intensified our security apparatus to ensure no untoward incidents take place in the city.", Delhi Police spokesperson Madhur Verma said.

"A grenade has been lobbed and 5-10 persons have been injured in the incident", a senior Punjab police official, who visited the incident spot, told reporters. The Nirankari sect has regular Sunday meetings.

The police say that this incident appears to have a terror angle as it is against a group. There is no reason to hurl a grenade at a group of people, so we will take it as a terror act.

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He said that three people had died in the incident and 20 others were injured, two of them seriously.

Hours after the attack, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval reviewed the situation.

Intelligence agencies are also looking at the possible involvement of some individuals based in Canada and England. The hall is just eight kilometres from the Amritsar global airport. The Nirankari sect has millions of followers in Punjab and around the world. Rajasansi is home to not just the airport but also an Indian Air Force Station nearby.

He pointed out that 15 such terror modules had been busted in the past 18 months, with Kashmiri terror links also indicated in some instances, as evidenced in the arrest of Kashmiri students from Jalandhar and in the Maqsudan police station grenade blast case.

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The incident happened at around noon. "Three persons are dead and another is critically injured". The victims were rushed to the nearest hospital, whereas, the police have arrived at the site to begin preliminary probe. They are receiving medical attention. However the police rule out his role in the attack.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that he spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh who has apprised him of the situation in the wake of grenade attack. "First bombs and now grenade attack in Amritsar, what next Raja saab?" she asked, referring to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. My govt will give Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each of the dead and free treatment to the injured.

"My condolences are with the families of those who lost their lives in this incident". He called on different departments responsible for maintaining law and order to stay alert and coordinate better to prevent any flareup.

An eye-witness who was the part of the congregation said the attackers also had weapons and entered the Nirankari Dera on gunpoint. "A cowardly act. We strongly condemn it", he wrote on Twitter.

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Punjab was on an alert following an input that a group of six to seven JeM terrorists were reportedly in the state, possibly in Ferozepur area. The police had put up posters with Moosa's photos warning people.

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