3 killed, 10 injured in alleged grenade attack on gurdwara in Amritsar

Lester Mason
November 19, 2018

The injured have been admitted in Guru Nanak Dev Hospital and Ivy Hospital in Amritsar.

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said the possibility of involvement of ISI-based Khalistani/Kashmiri terror groups could not be ruled out.

On the chief minister's directions, the security has been beefed up at all Nirankari Bhawan's in the state, he added.

Almost 200 devotees attending a religious congregation at "Nirankari Bhavan" in Amritsar rushed for safety after unexpectedly being pushed into chaos on November 18, when two men on a motorcycle hurled a hand grenade in an apparent terror attack at the premises, from where messages of peace and spirituality are sent out, eyewitnesses said.

While making an appeal to the people "not to panic and remain calm", the chief minister tweeted, "We will not let the forces of terror destroy our hard-earned peace".

Amrinder Singh has also directed the police to immediately enhance security arrangements at all sensitive places in the wake of the explosion. "Have asked district administration to extend all help".

Singh said his Government was "on top of things" and would get to the bottom of the incident soon and ensure that the culprits are apprehended and brought to book.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condemned Sunday's attack and announced compensation of 500,000 rupees ($6,965) each to the families of the victims.

Initial investigations into Sunday's attack found that two men - their faces covered - forced their way into the building by brandishing a pistol, CM Singh said. The men, who spoke in Punjabi, had booked the auto from the Jammu taxi stand, police said.

"The high-impact blast caused a crater, which is 3" in diameter, and is being examined by the forensic team.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to the chief minister and assured "strong action" against those responsible for the attack.

The two men also threatened devotees with a gun before flinging the explosive into the prayer hall.

The police say that this incident appears to have a terror angle as it is against a group.

The blast in Amritsar also comes at a time when Sikh radical groups have made common cause with Sikh saints, demanding justice for the killing of two Sikhs in police firing in 2015.

The accused threw a hand grenade at the people attending the religious congregation where close to 250 persons were in attendance and then fled away. There is no reason to hurl a grenade at a group of people, so we will take it as a terror act. "Till proven otherwise, prima facie we will take it as that", Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora told PTI.

The Counter Intelligence Wing of Punjab Police earlier this week issued a circular regarding infiltration of six to seven Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists from the International Border in Ferozepur area of Punjab.

Indian province of Punjab has been largely peaceful for over two decades after the state's authorities brutally suppressed a violent insurgency for an independent Sikh homeland in the 1980s and early 1990s.

A few days ago, four persons had snatched an SUV at gunpoint near Madhopur in Pathankot district.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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