3 persons killed in grenade attack on religious congregation in Amritsar
Amritsar, Nov 18 : Three persons were killed and at least 10 injured in a grenade attack on a prayer hall brimming with around 200 devotees on the outskirts of the city on Sunday.
The blast occurred during a religious gathering of the Nirankari sect at Nirankari Bhavan in Adliwal village near Amritsar's Rajasansi, which is close to the international airport.
According to eyewitness accounts, the grenade was lobbed by bike-borne persons.
"A grenade was lobbed and three people have died in the incident while 10 have been injured in the incident, two of them critically," Inspector General of Police S S Parmar, who visited the incident spot, told reporters.
Quoting eyewitness accounts, the IG said the two accused were carrying a pistol and after hurling the explosive, they escaped from the site.
A hunt is on to nab them, he said.
He said about 200 devotees were inside the hall at the time of the incident. No CCTV was installed at the premises, according to preliminary investigations.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh condemned the attack.
After reviewing the law and order situation, he directed the Home Secretary, DGP (Law and Order) and DG Intelligence to rush to Rajasansi for supervising investigations.
Some eyewitness accounts said that two armed and masked persons, who were on a motorcycle forced their way inside the Bhavan by pointing a gun at a woman devotee who was on duty at the gate.
"After they gained entry, they threw a grenade-like object at the congregation and escaped," said an eyewitness.
After the incident, the Bhavan was sealed by the police and security was stepped up at other 'Nirankari Bhavans' in the state. The Sant Nirankari Mission is a spiritual organisation.
Punjab was on an alert following an input claiming that a group of six to seven JeM militants were reportedly in the state, possibly in Ferozepur area.
The state was put on alert after four persons snatched a SUV from driver at gunpoint near Madhopur in Pathankot district last week.
Rajnath speaks to Amarinder; vows to punish perpetrators of Amritsar blast
New Delhi, Nov 18 : Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Sunday spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and took stock of the situation arising out of a grenade attack at a religious gathering in Amritsar which claimed three lives.
Singh also vowed to take strongest possible action against the perpetrators of the crime.
"Spoke to the Chief Minister of Punjab, @capt_amarinder ji who has apprised me of the situation in the wake of grenade attack in Amritsar. Strongest possible action will be taken against the perpetrators of this crime (sic)," he tweeted.
The home minister said he was deeply anguished by the death of the innocent people in the grenade attack in Amritsar.
"It is a reprehensible act of violence. My condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in this attack and prayers for speedy recovery of the injured," Singh said.
Three people were killed and at least 10 others injured in the grenade attack by bike-borne assailants at a prayer hall brimming with around 200 devotees at Raja Sansi village near Amritsar.