Press Trust of india

Punjab: Five arrested after another explosion near Golden Temple

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Amritsar: Five persons were arrested on Thursday in connection with the low-intensity blast incidents near the Golden Temple here, hours after another explosion took place in the area, police said.

In less than a week, three explosions have taken place in the city. The third explosion occurred on Wednesday midnight in Galiara, the pathway and park around the Golden Temple, behind Guru Ramdas Ji Niwas (inn) building, police said.

A low-intensity explosion had taken place on a heritage street near the shrine on May 6. The second one occurred in the area in less than 30 hours after the first blast.

A special investigation team will be formed to further investigate the matter, said Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Gauarv Yadav while addressing the media here.

The motive behind the explosions is yet to be ascertained, Yadav said, adding whether the arrested five persons were a self-radicalized module or worked at the direction of some other persons will also be investigated.

Police identified the accused as Azadvir Singh, Amrik Singh, Sahib Singh, Harjit Singh and Dharminder Singh.

Azadvir, resident of Amritsar and Amrik, resident of Gurdaspur, were the main perpetrators while Sahib, Harjit and Dharminder, residents of Amritsar, were the persons who sourced and supplied the explosives, the DGP said.

Yadav further said police also recovered 1.10 kg low-intensity explosive, which is normally used in firecrackers.

“We will investigate the entire deep-rooted conspiracy behind this and examine all the associates of the arrested people, in India and abroad. We will get to the bottom of it,” said the DGP who was accompanied by special DGP R N Dhoke and other officers.

Amrik’s wife was also being questioned and her role was being examined, said the DGP.

A case has been registered under relevant sections of the Explosives Act, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and under section 120B of the Indian Penal Code.

The DGP also appreciated and thanked the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for their cooperation in nabbing the accused.

SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami earlier in the day had said that it was the SGPC employees who first noticed the blast in the ‘Galiara’ and also pinpointed the place from where the explosive material was thrown.

Dhami said the SGPC employees traced a suspect through CCTV footage installed in the Guru Ramdas Ji Niwas (inn) building and later they handed him over to police.

The explosive material was thrown from the washroom located on the second floor of the building.

Sharing more details, DGP Yadav said the first IED (improvised explosive device) was assembled in the bathroom of the ‘sarai’ (inn) on May 6 and it constituted 200 grams of explosive in two energy drink cans. A metallic tiffin was also filled with the same explosive material.

“All these three containers were placed in a polythene bag. Azadvir had gone to the rooftop of the heritage parking building and then he hung the polythene bag with the help of a rope at about 11 pm on May 6. The first explosion took place at 11:25 pm,” said the DGP.

The second IED was assembled by using two metallic bowls which were then joined together and it was again done in the bathroom of the sarai on May 7.

It was placed on the top of the heritage parking building at 4:30 in the morning on May 8 and it exploded at 6:15 am, he said.

The third IED explosion took place in a secluded area behind the Guru Ramdas Ji Niwas building.

Replying to a question on the motive behind the explosions, Yadav said, “We will investigate…these three blasts were carried out by this module. As investigation progresses, we will expose their motive.

On why this place was chosen for carrying out blasts, the DGP said, “Maybe it was convenient for them to go there. But the fact is whatever happens at the Darbar Sahib, it makes news. After detailed questioning, we will establish the motive also.”

To another question, Yadav said the arrested persons confessed that they carried out three blasts.

“From their interrogation, CCTV footage, and tower locations of their mobile phones, it is clearly established this module was behind all the three incidents,” said Yadav.

Earlier, SGPC chief Dhami accused the state government of being a “total failure” in preventing such incidents.

While pointing towards the previous two blast incidents in Amritsar, Dhami said at that time, he had said that such matters should not be taken lightly and that they should be deeply investigated.


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